Where Our Anger Comes From (And How to Fight)

I’m talking about that anger that erupts when our plans are frustrated or our teenager dents the car.

When we believe in Jesus, God gives us his Holy Spirit and causes us to be born again to a new life. We are no longer under the dominion of our fallen nature, but it still seeks to exert itself. And the “works” of our fallen nature include anger: “enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions” and things like these.

 

I don’t know anyone who isn’t tempted to anger from time to time.

We may curse the idiot driver who pulls out out in front of us or speak harshly to our children. We may get angry at our spouse because they forgot to do that thing we asked 16 times.

Hopefully we do nothing violent, but we may throw our hands up in the air or roll our eyes or think, “Really? Really!?”

Have you ever wondered where our anger comes from? Is it caused by our kids when they disobey us? Or by our husband when he makes a mess again and doesn’t clean it up?

I’m not talking about righteous anger, like we might feel if we saw an adult abusing a child. I’m talking about that anger that erupts when our plans are frustrated or our teenager dents the car.

Anger feels like it is caused by something outside us

Like when other people make us mad. My boss makes me so mad. My teenager. My roommate. The President. The whole government. Republicans. Democrats. THEY MAKE ME so mad!

We don’t usually think of anger as OUR problem. It’s SOMEBODY ELSE doing something to me. It is something OUTSIDE of me.

Anger usually feels like it erupts instantaneously from nowhere, like Mt. St. Helens.

So where does anger come from? Is it caused by others or by our circumstances? If our anger is caused by someone or something outside us, then we can’t be responsible for it. It’s their fault not mine.

When I first learned where the Bible says my anger comes from, it surprised me.

Bigtime.

Anger comes from within us

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. GA 5.19-21

“The works of the flesh” are the works of our fallen nature that still remains within us.

When we believe in Jesus, God gives us his Holy Spirit and causes us to be born again to a new life. We are no longer under the dominion of our fallen nature, but it still seeks to exert itself. And the “works” of our fallen nature include anger: “enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions” and things like these.

Other people and things that happen to us do not cause our anger. Our anger comes from our fallen nature.

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