Anger Is Not A Fruit Of The Spirit

This post is not easy to write. Confession never is easy. I struggle with anger. I don’t want it in my life but sometimes (more than I want to admit) it just spews forth like acid. Anger is described in the Bible as a work of the flesh which is the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit. The word “anger” in Galatians 5:20 is translated in various Bible versions as. . .

  • wrath (KJV)
  • outbursts of anger (NLT; NASB)
  • a brutal temper (The Message)
  • fits of rage (NIV)

I’m responsible for my anger.

Anger is a work of my flesh. It is something I do. I produce it. It is not something that the Spirit of God produces in me. I know some of you want to jump to the topic of “righteous anger” or ask, “Isn’t anger sometimes appropriate?” But let’s not get off the subject. The emphasis here is on outbursts of anger, wrath, a brutal temper, fits of rage. All this comes from me.

When I fill my basket with anger, it negates all the fruit of the Spirit . . .

  • anger – love
  • anger – joy
  • anger – peace
  • anger – patience
  • anger – kindness
  • anger – goodness
  • anger – faithfulness
  • anger – gentleness
  • anger – self-control

Anger bursts forth in my life when I don’t give the Spirit control. Fits of rage erupt when I get out of step with the Spirit.

How do I get anger out of my basket?

  1. Remember my true identity in Christ
  2. Rely on the power of Christ who lives in me
  3. Focus on the actions that are part of my identity in Christ not on the actions of my old life
  4. Walk in line with who I am – not who I used to be

Here are the scriptural bookends on each side of the works of the flesh:

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. (Galatians 5:16 – NLT)

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25 – NLT

    I plan to do a few more posts on the topic of anger. Do you have any thoughts on the direction these posts might take?

    Grace and Peace,

    Terry

    Related Posts:

    Who Gets To Eat The Fruit Of The Spirit?

    In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul presents to us a list of nine characteristics of the fruit that is produced by the Holy Spirit. Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Who gets to eat the fruit of the Spirit?”

    God did not put fruit on trees for decorations like we put ornaments on our Christmas trees. Fruit grows on trees to satisfy hunger. The fruit is there, not for the tree, but for people to eat.

    The peach tree in my backyard brings glory to its creator when luscious peaches hang from its branches. It also brings glory to God when it fulfills its purpose of providing its fruit for those who eat it.

    In our consumeristic culture we have come to believe that the fruit of the Spirit is for ourselves to enjoy. We see it primarily as something we possess. Something that ornaments our lives. But it is so much more than “How can I have more Fruit of the Spirit in my life?”

    God wants to produce fruit in our lives, not just for the sake of bearing fruit, but for others to eat. Jesus told us that the first and greatest commandment was to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength but he also told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. We give glory to God when we live for others. We are to bear fruit that will be eaten by others, feeding their hungry hearts.

    Do you bring your fruit basket with you when you gather with your brothers and sisters in Christ? When you go to work? When you hang out with friends?

    Today, let the Spirit produce his fruit in you and give someone else a piece of fruit?

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

    Grace and Peace,

    Terry

    The Wind Is an Old Friend of Mine

    When I was a boy I marveled at the mystery of the wind. I loved watching the tall stalks of golden wheat bend and sway in the West Texas breeze. There was something magical about the tug of the string as a kite soared in the air.

    The wind is a symbol for the Holy Spirit. The word spirit both in the Greek of the New Testament and the Hebrew of the Old Testament means “breath” or “wind.” Two key New Testament passages about the Spirit are John 3:8 and Acts 2:2-4.

    Think about these properties of the wind.

    • The wind aids in the blowing seeds to new places and pollinating plants.
    • We cannot see where the wind comes from or where it is going but we can see its effects.
    • The wind can be experienced as a gentle breeze in the leaves or a stormy blast breaking limbs.

    Pour yourself a cup of coffee as you watch this 3:15 minute short film that captures the magic and wonder of the unseen wind from Whitestone Motion Pictures.

    I think I am going to buy a kite, let it soar in the air and talk about my old friend with my grandchildren.

    Grace and Peace,
    Terry

    Join the conversation: Is the wind and old friend of yours? Can you describe some of the things you felt as you watched the video?