The next time you light a candle, allow your eyes to scan the scintillating hues and shades of the flame. Notice the light blue at the center—that’s actually the hottest part of the flame, measuring 1,400° Celsius (2,552° F). The temperature then diminishes from the inner core to the outer sides, signified by shades of yellow, orange, then red, at 800° Celsius (1,472° F).
Likewise, anger can run the gamut from bright red to a light blue. Anger can lightly singe, or severely scorch. It ranges from mild agitation to hot explosions, from controlled irritations to uncontrolled eruptions. In the Bible, Joseph’s two brothers displayed the destructive heat of anger.
“Simeon and Levi … have killed men in their anger … Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel!” (Genesis 49:5–7)
Anger is a wide umbrella word covering many levels of the emotion.
- Indignation is simmering anger provoked by something appearing to be unjust or unkind and often perceived as justified. Jesus became “indignant” when the disciples prevented parents from bringing their children to Him so that He might touch and bless them.
- “When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'” (Mark 10:14)
- Wrath is burning anger accompanied by a desire to avenge. Wrath often moves from the inner emotion of anger to the outer expression of anger. In Romans 1:18 God expresses His wrath as divine judgment on those who commit willful sin.
- “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” (Romans 1:18)
- Fury is fiery anger so fierce that it destroys common sense. The word fury suggests a powerful force compelled to harm or destroy. Some members of the Sanhedrin were so angry with Peter and the other apostles for proclaiming Jesus was God that “they were furious and wanted to put them to death” (Acts 5:33).
- This is why the Bible says, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming” (Proverbs 27:4).
- Rage is blazing anger resulting in loss of self-control, often to the extreme of violence and temporary insanity. After an outburst of rage, a cry of remorseful regret or disbelief is often expressed—”I can’t believe I did that!” Yet those who continue to vent their rage toward others, including toward God, find themselves defeated by their own destructive decisions and ruined relationships.
- “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.” (Proverbs 19:3)
Article Used by Permission from Hope for the Heart©
Scripture, unless otherwise indicated, taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.