Health & Spirit

Is anger inherited or learned? Didn't God show anger?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: I grew up in a volatile home environment. Is anger inherited or learned? Didn't God show anger? -- E.A.

A: Every human being is capable of demonstrating anger. Think of a tiny baby who exhibits fits of temper before they can even talk. A toddler can fly into a fit of anger and upset the entire household. Husbands and wives react out of anger before giving any thought to the issue that triggers such a response.

Anger breeds remorse in the heart, discord in the home; bitterness in the community and confusion in the state. Homes are often destroyed by the swirling tornadoes of heated domestic anger. Business relations are often shattered by fits of violent temper when reason gives way to venomous wrath. Friendships are often broken by the keen knife of indignation.

Anger is condemned by the sacred Scriptures. It murders, assaults and attacks -- causing physical and mental harm. Anger makes us lash out at others, destroying relationships and revealing our true nature.


Jesus said, "Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Matthew 5:22). "Without cause" points to Ephesians 4:26: "Be angry, and do not sin." Righteous anger is directed at sinful behavior. The Bible teaches us how to handle anger without doing harm. When anger leads to murder, gossip, etc., it is sinful indeed. This is why we are instructed to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:18-19).

We must not let anger control us, no matter what others do to cause it. We only become guilty of the same sin that afflicts them, and it solves nothing. God alone is perfect. Even His anger is righteous, because it is directed solely against evil. Don't let the acids of bitterness eat away inside. Look to Christ's example in all things.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)



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