Meet Jealousy's Hostile Sidekick

Yesterday, we tackled the green-eyed monster of jealousy. Today, I want to call out his hostile sidekick—Anger.

Anger is something we rarely admit we need help with. Sweet Christian women don’t get angry, right? Or, if we do allow ourselves to throw the occasional angry fit, we then go on with our day like it’s no big deal. We don’t like to admit if anger is hiding under our bed and creeping into our hearts at night, do we?

Anger is a big deal, though. I mentioned yesterday that jealousy is often called the green-eyed monster because it toys with our hearts before sinking its teeth in deep, much like  a cat with its prey. Anger is said to make us see red—it is an emotion that tends to blot out reality until we can only see the fury we are feeling. 

The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of anger. Here is a crash course:

  • Love is not easily angered (1 Corinthians 13:4).
  • Outbursts of anger aren’t fitting for God’s people (2 Corinthians 12:20).
  • It is possible to be angry and not sin (Matthew 21:11-13; Ephesians 4:26).
  • When we are angry we need to deal with it, instead of letting it simmer in our hearts for days, weeks, or years (Ephesians 4:26).
  • We are commanded in the Bible to get rid of anger and to practice forgiveness as an alternative (Colossians 3:8).
  • Finally, anger can keep us from the righteous life that God desires (James 1:20).

I think the subject of anger is addressed so often because it is a beast that so many of us battle. But, why? Why do feelings of anger well up so easily in our hearts? What is the motivation behind the beast?

I think I know the answer. (Are you ready for this?). We get angry because we think we’re too important.

Don’t get me wrong. You are important—I hope you know that God loves you and that you matter a great deal to Him (and to us). But there’s a huge difference between understanding your significance and secretly thinking you are the center of the universe.

Paul said it this way:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you (Romans 12:3).

I also like how he puts it in Philippians 2:3:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Put these verses together and you get this formula:

Don’t think of yourself too highly + See yourself as God sees you + Think of others before thinking of yourself.

I believe the outcome of this formula is a woman who is able to keep anger at bay.

Everyone knows that anger’s no good. In fact, he’s the poster child for dangerous emotions. But I think he’s just the thug. The mastermind behind our anger is our own selfishness. We will continue to be easily angered until we get a firm grasp on how God sees us, and how He calls us to treat the people around us.

Maybe you’ve been battling the wrong beast. Maybe you’ve been fighting off anger while selfishness made his lair in your heart. Take it to Jesus. Ask Him to do a transforming work in your heart. Give Him permission to do battle with the monsters who may be lurking in the closet of your heart.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness ( James 3:13-19).

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager … read more …

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