During our adult bible study on Sunday mornings we are reading through a book by Jerry Bridges call “Respectable Sins – Confronting the Sins We Tolerate“. This week we looked at the sin of anger. Very often we tend to tolerate this sin because we believe anger is justified in many cases and in certain situations. Although the bible does provide some examples of righteous anger, the main focus of teaching is on our sinful anger, and our sinful reactions to other people’s actions or words.
Today we looked at the chapter in the Bridges book titled “Weeds of Anger”. One of the first things Bridges points out is the scripture we have all used to provide justification for our anger. You know the verse in Ephesians 4:26:
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.
According to Bridges, the apostle Paul is not granting us permission to be angry, let alone commanding it, as the imperative mood might suggest. Rather, Paul takes for granted that we will become angry, and he is telling us how to handle it. Basically Paul is saying “Don’t hold on to your anger. Get over it quickly.” As Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show liked to say “Nip it in the bud.”
Also in this chapter, Bridges leads the reader to look at some of the long term results of anger, what he calls “weeds of anger.” He chooses the term weeds because it emphasizes something we dislike that takes root and is often difficult to get rid of. Bridges discusses five noxious weeds that spring up from unresolved anger. The fives weeds are: