Testimony of Richard D'Andrea Dover
I. Is Anger Always Sinful?
Premise-If God gets angry, then anger itself is not sin
Does God get angry?
"Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses, and He said, "Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently."
"But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness."
"And after looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored."
It is obvious from scripture that God does get angry. So anger in itself is not sinful.
It is how we handle our anger. There is such a thing as righteous anger.
II. Righteous Anger
"Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;"
'The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.'"
When God is angry, he is slow to respond in anger. And His anger is balanced with his
love. Before we are too quick to justify our anger, let's look at examples of righteous
and unrighteous anger exhibited by man.
III. Example of righteous and unrighteous anger
1 Samuel 20:34
"Then Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, for he was grieved over David because his father had dishonored him."
1 Samuel 20:30
"Then Saul's anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother's nakedness?"
Jonathan's anger was for the sake of someone else (it was not selfish). Saul's anger was based upon pride and self-centered.
IV. Warnings Against Anger
"idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,"
"Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,"
"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."
"And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
"But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth."
It is very clear from scripture that anger is a very dangerous emotion that is grouped
with sinful actions. It should become obvious to us that most of the time anger exhibited
by mankind is usually sinful.
V. Reasons For Anger
Poor health habits
Fear and worry
There are many reasons for us having anger. Again, anger in itself is not sinful. In
fact it may be justifiable at times. However we are never justified to exhibit anger in a
way that is selfish or directed at others in an unfair or unrighteous way. Also, we will
see there are many myths that perpetuate anger.
VI. Myths That Perpetuate Anger
Unreasonable expectations of others
Feeling controlled by others
False understanding of God
No one understands
I don't deserve to be happy
There is no hope
We need to realize that many times our anger is not justified. We have bought into
myths that perpetuate anger.
VII. Ways of Acting Out Anger
All of the above representations of anger are wrong. Withdrawal is just as destructive
to a relationship as violence. Ask someone who has experienced ongoing isolation from
VIII. Disguises of Anger
Ultimately every form of unrighteous anger is used to be in control of the
situation. It is an issue of control and manipulation-to get our way. It is
the abuse of another. Reality is that we are out of control.
VIX. Verbal, emotional, or spiritual abuse
Example of verbal abuse- shooting around a person:
Have someone stand against a wall. Start shooting a gun all around them. Ask if they feel ok because none of the bullets have not hit them. The reality is that they would be 'scared as hell'.
Damage to victim-The wounds of physical abuse are more obvious, but the scars of verbal, emotional, or spiritual abuse are much deeper. Wounds can heal, but most of the time there are scars forever.
We want to make it clear that harmful anger is more than physical violence. The church
(Body of Christ) has for too long excused and closed its eyes to verbal, emotional, and
spiritual abuse. As a matter of fact it has also ignored physical violence in the home. At
times it has even encouraged violence and verbal abuse in the home by an incorrect
understanding of submission.
X. Destructiveness of Anger
How much more evidence does the church need to have to take anger serious? Unrighteous
(most anger) is must be dealt with like any other sin. Of course, the reality is the Body
of Christ overall has not dealt with 'sin in the camp' very well. It needs to understand
the destructiveness of sin especially addictive sin. Yes, anger can be very addictive.
XI. Foolishness of Anger
"He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly."
"Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,"
"A fool gives full vent to his anger,
but a wise man keeps himself under control."
"An angry man stirs up dissension,
and a hot-tempered one commits many sins."
Now that we have a very clear understanding of anger, what is the solution to the sin
XII. Victory Over Anger
A. Not easy, no quick fix.
It takes work to have victory over anger. It does not happen overnight.
XIII. Anger Cycle
There are cycles to anger, just like other addictions.
We can either act out our anger or we can take positive action when we experience
To take action means to analyze our feelings and thoughts and find appropriate ways to express them.