Anger, Satan, and Unbelief

It seems as if the home is a prime place to be angry.  With a family living together, things don’t always work out as they should.  There is conflict with your spouse, children who exhibit their self-will, opportunities for impatience, lack of sleep, and general stress when things go wrong.  But anger isn’t just a bad reaction.  Jonathan Dodson makes the point that anger is really the image of Satan (not God) in our lives.

In order to understand our anger it must be compared and contrasted with God’s anger. We must see our anger through His eyes. David Powlison describes our anger in Satanic, warlike features:

Warmaking is a prime trait of sinners. It’s the image of Satan: liar, murder, divider, aggressor.

Speaking of the judgmental and contentious person he writes:

He becomes, in fact, Satanic. He acts in the image of the accuser of the brethren, an adversary of the well-being of others, an unlawful bringer of destruction, a tyrant and vigilante.

Does this ever happen to you, men, in particular?  We allow our desire for control and order to take over and we destroy rather than discipline. Anger really leads to unbelief.

When I grow angry I find myself losing belief. I lose faith in God’s goodness amid my circumstances. I lose belief in his promises, that “he works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).

This unbelief arises from sinful discontent with God’s wise providence, a failure to trust in His perfect will to do me good, whether through bad weather or good, emotional intimacy or none, apology or no apology. From emotional outbursts to weather complaints, anger arises from a failure to believe the truth, and belief that God owes me something: better weather or better marital intimacy or whatever.

Belief in this false promise is unbelief in God’s promises.

But the gospel shows that Jesus bore the penalty for “our unrighteous anger, cutting remarks and constant complaining.” The gospel enables us see our anger for what it is and obtain victory over it.

Check your anger at home.  Is it resulting from idolatry, a belief that I need something (comfort, control, order) other than God to satisfy me?  Read the whole article to hear Dodson’s argument and conclusions.

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