HALT: (2) Angry

28 February 2016

Temptation is a normal part of being human – something to navigate and deal with. Continuing our series from Richard Wilding, the second area to explore from the HALT principle (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) is Angry.


The bible is full of examples of anger leading to sin.  Cain became “angry” with God and decided to take it out on his brother Abel by killing him (Genesis 4:5-8); Jacob became “angry” with Rachel and ended up committing adultery with her maid servant in order to start a family (Genesis 30:1-4).


Jonah (or should we call him Mr Angry!) became so angry he said “I am angry enough to die”! (Jonah 4:1-9).   Paul in his anger said something he should not have said to the High Priest and spent time apologising for this (Acts 23:3-5, Acts 24:21).   These are just a few examples of many where Anger leads to sin.


The bible tells us that “Anger resides in the lap of fools” Ecclesiastes 7:9 [NIV] and “the quick tempered display folly”  Proverbs 14:20 [NIV].


Jesus then tells us “Anyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgement” Matthew 5:22 [NIV].  It is worth reminding ourselves of these verses next time we feel anger building up.   But the most important strategy is outlined by Paul in Ephesians, it simply states:


“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  Ephesians 4:26-27 [NIV]


I have always tried to keep the rule of never going to bed angry with my family, this often means apologising late at night.  The times I have not done this I have come under “judgement”, this generally is in the form of a very sleepless night and the difficult day that follows.  By developing patience and managing our Anger we can stop the link between Anger and Tiredness which then creates a ‘foothold’ for more sin!