Releasing Blessing By Blocking Curses Chapter 14 of 24

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Two Types of Anger


How then does bitterness show itself? I want to look at the manifestations of bitterness and some of the mechanics of it. Then we will go a bit deeper and look at how to solve this problem, how to deal with it, and how to overcome it.

In Ephesians 4:30 and 31 Paul says this.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed until the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and explosive anger, and boiling anger, and violent argument, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice:

Bitterness is expressed in anger, and I would like to look at the different types of anger that are taught in the Scriptures and that exist in mankind. You see anger - and anger - are not the same thing. There are different kinds of anger.

What would you see in your mind if I were to say to you,

"I want you to picture somebody who is angry."

Each person may have a different picture about what anger is. And if you look at yourself and consider how you are when you are angry, you will notice that there are different ways that people show their anger.

Effectively there are only two kinds. And those clever people the Greeks had a different word in their language for each kind of anger. We English are so ignorant that all we could say is angry, but the Greeks had two different words.

Those who translated the old King James Bible had to have some way of showing that there were two different aspects here. They managed to find two English words to describe the two Greek words, so they picked wrath for the one and anger for the other.

Do you know what the difference between wrath and anger is? You will not likely know, but if you dig a little deeper and look at the Greek words, you will begin to understand what the difference is between the two.

Wrath is translated from the Greek word thumos, which speaks of hot and explosive anger. You know what explosive anger is? Just find an expressive person and make him mad and you will know what explosive anger is. It is anger that explodes.

It is anger that shows itself, usually pretty loudly and clearly. You do not have a doubt in your mind that the person is mad when they have a bit of thumos. The whole world knows that person is angry when thumos shows itself.

In fact most of the neighborhood and most of the people in the shopping area where it occurs in public, know that that person is angry. You know what I am talking about. It is explosive anger.

Paul uses another word to go with it. He says,

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor and evil speaking …

Well he spoke about bitterness and about malice, and those are the roots that we spoke about. That is your wormwood and your gall – an external and an internal bitterness.

But sandwiched between that you have these four words: wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking. They are actually matched pairs, because wrath, or thumos or explosive anger leads to clamor and anger.

This is the other kind of anger which we will deal with shortly. It leads to evil speaking.

Thumos – Explosive Anger

I would like to start with thumos or explosive anger. Explosive anger leads to clamor. What is clamor? It is noise; violent argument.

You see it happens this way. You are speaking with your spouse or somebody that you are close to and they make you mad. You get angry and you use thumos. You open your mouth and you tell them that you are angry.

You will use words that are sometimes not very nice words to express your anger. When you do that, if the other person also reacts with thumos, they will shout back - probably about two decibels higher.

When you get that reaction from them, the anger that you had at the beginning just receives the fuse light. It begins to build up even more.

It begins to explode more and so you retaliate five decibels higher. This makes them more angry and they come back 10 decibels higher.

You now have a chain reaction almost like an atomic bomb. By the time you are finished you want to kill each other. It is violent argument and violent anger, like two dogs getting into each other. That is clamor.

It does not always work that way though. Sometimes what happens is the second person does not react with thumos anger. They react with the other anger which we will deal with shortly.

They do not retaliate. They do not explode but they implode. They clam up. So you will speak and say,

"You make me mad."

The person just looks at you. They do not say a word. That can make you more angry than if they shouted back, so you come back louder.

You say, "I'm talking to you!"

Zip. They say nothing. They sulk, are stubborn and give no response. You begin to shout louder and louder but they still do not respond.

Then you have to do something. This anger has to get out, and the chances are you will hurt yourself. You will probably punch the wall, stick your fist through the windowpane, or the cat is likely to get booted into the road.

Somebody is going to come unstuck here because you will blow up like a bomb. Thumos or explosive anger leads to clamor and violent argument. It is a sinful response to a problem that has come into your life.

Is anger sinful? No, anger does not have to be sinful. We will look at that in due course and show you how anger can be used correctly.

Orge – Implosive Anger

I want to look now at the other kind of anger, and the Greek word for that is orge. This is the kind of anger that does not explode, it implodes. It is the anger, where instead of exploding when they get angry, the person begins to boil.

They seethe, simmer and sulk, sometimes for days on end and you have a cold war. They get that look on their face and they won't talk to you. They mutter, moan and groan, and they let all the anger build up inside.

Thumos anger can cause you to blow a blood vessel in your brain, and it can cause a lot of other problems. But this is the kind of anger that causes stomach ulcers and high blood pressure because it builds up inside.

It bubbles and seethes. And eventually that bubbling and seething comes to a point where the person cannot contain it anymore.

They have to let it out somehow, but they cannot let it out explosively, so they find someone who is prepared to listen in order to let it out. What now comes out is,

"You know what so-and-so did? Do you know what they said? Do you know (this or that)? "

This is gossip. It is evil speaking. The Greek word for it is blasphemia. Do you know what it means to blaspheme? It means to run someone down, to deride, to ridicule and criticize somebody else.

So when a person implodes their anger, eventually what it leads to is a kind of a gossip; a blaspheming and a tearing down using the tongue. They become vindictive. They become vicious in that seething, boiling anger that seeks to take revenge.

They say, "I'll get my own back on you. I'll tell someone else about you. I'll make your life miserable."

Backbiting

What happens when these angers begin to take place?

When you explode against somebody it leads to clamor and violent argument. Now there is a barrier between two people. And that anger and violent argument can separate them and tear them apart.

You might say, "Well I'm glad I don't explode my anger. I can control my temper. I don't have to get mad. I can do it."

But you seethe and bubble and speak through clenched teeth. Then you start telling somebody else about it, and you start speaking negatively and criticizing.

You go and speak about that person negatively behind their back to somebody else. That somebody else goes and tells somebody else, who tells somebody else and repeats the cycle. Sooner or later the person that you were mad at hears the story, highly magnified via the gossip circle.

What are they going to do when they hear what you have been saying about them? They will probably get mad, and they themselves will seethe and bubble. Then the cycle repeats itself.

You see it doesn't matter whether you are exploding your anger out of control, or whether you are building it up inside and it is bubbling and seething. Both of these responses are sinful, and both of them lead to further sinful responses.

Both of them lead to barriers, because if you have exploded against somebody there comes a separation in that relationship. And if you have been criticizing and gossiping about someone and they hear about it, and you hear about it, the next time you see that person you look at them and say,

"Oh yes, I know what you've been saying about me."

They look at you and say,

"I know what you're saying about me."

You stare daggers at each other and there are barriers between you.

You meet that person in church, and as you sit down in the pew you glare at them. If you are sitting in front of them you can probably feel some daggers boring into your back. It is producing barriers and is sinful.

A Soft Answer

Anger needs to be dealt with correctly. How do you do that? The Scripture has a solution to these. The best and simplest solution to thumos anger and to clamor is given in the book of Proverbs 15:1 which says,

A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

It works like this. There are two people and a problem that occurs. The first one explodes in thumos.

He shouts, "You stupid idiot!"

The other person says,

"I'm sorry, please forgive me."

"Yeah, but you did this."

"You're quite right. I shouldn't have done that."

"But you …."

How many more times can you retaliate every time somebody speaks to you softly? It takes all the fun out of it. It just takes the wind right out of your sails. It is like the matador when he keeps telling the bull,

"Come on bull. Come on bull!"

The bull comes and dashes and the matador says,

"Come on bull; come on."

After he has chased that red rag a few times it is not fun anymore. He just loses all that energy and wears himself out, and he becomes as meek as a lamb.

Try that on your husband next time he starts screaming at you. Try that one on your wife next time she explodes. A soft answer turns away wrath.

A soft answer will take the wind out of the sails. It is not a no answer. That can create a further problem where you just become stubborn and you sulk. No a soft, gentle, loving answer will defuse that situation.

Clamming Up

How about when a person clams up? How are we going to deal with that? The trouble with clamming up is you tend to avoid.

When you are mad at a person like that, you do not look them in the face. You do not talk to them or even let them know they made you mad. You go and tell somebody else about it.

It could be that the person said something or did something innocently.

Perhaps you go out and visit some folks and have a good time. Then you open your big mouth and say something you shouldn't have. I am always doing that sort of thing. On the way home your wife is not talking so you say to her,

"Is something wrong?"

"No."

"Are you mad at me?"

"No."

"What did I do?"

"Nothing."

You know there is something wrong though and it has not been dealt with. You have to play 20 questions to try and guess what you did wrong.

She says, "You know what you said."

"Um, no what was it?"

"You know what it was."

"What did I do?"

"You should know."

All it does is cause barriers.

Anger Can Be Good

None of these methods solve the problem, because what caused you to be mad? It was a problem.

It was something that happened or something that was said that caused a problem. And you know what? Anger is given to you to help you overcome problems.

Do you not find that you sometimes have to get mad before you do something? You look at the house and it is a mess. You kind of live with it for a while, until one day you just get mad at it. You get a bee in your bonnet and say,

"I've had enough!"

Then you get stuck in and tidy it up, and before what seemed a mountain of work takes you 10 minutes to clear. It can happen.

Sometimes God causes a release of emotional energy in you to give you the power and energy to deal with the problem right now.

That burst of energy has been given to you as a blessing. That is why the Scripture says,

Be angry, but do not sin.

Anger has been given to help you deal with the problem.

Unfortunately most of the time the problem has been caused by another person. So here you have this problem facing you and you are mad. But instead of dealing with the problem you deal with the person.

You blow up at the person and create another problem. You clam up and sulk and start to criticize the person, and you create another problem. You did not use anger the way it was supposed to be used which was to deal with the problem.

You need to take that anger, hold it back and direct it at the problem. If you can do that you can solve the problem, restore the relationship and walk in righteousness.

Then instead of coming under condemnation and guilt because you blew it and because you responded sinfully in anger, you can take that anger and say,

"I responded correctly and I used the anger to tear up that problem. I used it to deal with it and solve it once and for all."

Struggling to Let Go

We don't do that though. We swing from one end of the pendulum to the other.

So you have this deep anger which is causing ulcers and all sorts of other problems, and you have to go and see the shrink. You have to go and see some psychologist or psychiatrist to get help with your problem.

And so after putting you there on the couch and digging into your past for several months, they uncover this fact. The problem here is that you are mad at your parents or somebody else.

You are mad at your mother-in-law for always sticking her nose into your business. You have this anger building up inside of you and it is eating away at you, so they will recommend that you let it out.

Group Therapy

How do you let it out? One of the popular methods is to attend group therapy. This is where you get a bunch of people together and you start discussing your problems. The first person says,

"I have a dominating wife. She's always pushing me around and telling me what to do."

Somebody else says,

"My husband is an absolute pig. He has no consideration whatsoever."

Another person says,

"You should see my mother-in-law. Man I just wish that woman would never come round here."

You begin to have a lovely session. You pass the pillow round and each one has a turn to knock the stuffing out of it. You are encouraged to,

"Let it all out. You're amongst people who care now. You can tell us how you feel. Express your feelings now. You've been hiding them inside. Let it all out, and when you are finished you will feel a whole lot better."

You will not believe what psychiatrists have counseled people to do. Counsel has been as bad as telling a person to go and urinate on their father's grave. You will not believe the things that people are told to do to let out the anger and bitterness that is inside them.

All they do is teach them to go from one sinful response to another sinful response. But the problem never gets dealt with. The bitterness was never resolved. It just moved from one way of sinning to another way of sinning.

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