What are the long-term results of anger or as Jerry Bridges calls it in his book Respectable Sins: Confronting The Sins We Tolerate, “weeds of anger”? Bridges’ selected the word “weeds” because they seem to be a nuisance that you constantly have to get rid of, with the obvious correlation that the following “weeds of anger” will be sins that Christians will constantly (1) be on the lookout against and (2) be working to eliminate.
- Resentment is anger held on to and is most often something internal
- Bitterness is resentment that has grown into a feeling of ongoing animosity
- Enmity and hostility speak to a higher level of will or animosity than bitterness does
- Holding a grudge refers to planning revenge on someone and twice in the ESV grudge is translated with the word hate
- Strife denote open conflict or turmoil between two parties
What should a Christian do in response to these sins? Bridges says Christians should…
- Look to the sovereignty of God. God doesn’t cause people to sin against us, but He does allow it, and it is always allowed for a purpose – most often our own growth in Christlikeness
- We should pray to God and ask Him to enable us to grow in love towards people. Peter tells us to, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8)
- We should learn to forgive as God has forgiven us. We see this clearly taught in Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unforgiving servant.