We both love how Matthew has taken the concept of sin and given a breath of fresh air to the topic. You must read this book because in its pages you will finally gain a biblical perspective on sin and what it takes to free yourself from the bonds that so easily entangle!

Gary and Michael Smalley
Smalley Relationship Center
When mental illness afflicts a loved one, how can we understand what is happening and respond appropriately? This biblically-literate and scientifically-informed book offers helpful insight, encouragement, and practical advice. For pastors and for those who hurt for those who hurt, Matthew Stanford offers sensitive and welcome guidance.

David G. Myers, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Hope College and author of Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The topic of uncontrolled anger is common throughout the scriptures. One needs to look no further than the Wisdom books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes) to find a detailed description of the rageful person and the dire consequences of this sinful behavior. These verses describe the impulsive aggressive individual as a “fool”. In the scriptures, foolishness is often contrasted with wisdom. The “fool” is one who is self-sufficient and does not truly know God for life (Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 17:1) while the “wise” man is dependent on God and knows Him intimately (Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10). The explosive individual is also described as having no honor, hated by others, one who exalts sin and causes harm to all those he encounters. Ultimately, uncontrolled anger leads to death, both spiritually and physically.

We feel anger when we perceive an injustice or see evil. God’s purpose for human anger is “to motivate us to take positive, loving action … to set the wrong right.” Human anger was created in the image of God’s anger (Genesis 1:26). As author Gary Chapman writes “when God sees evil, He experiences anger. Anger is His logical response to injustice or unrighteousness.” God’s righteous anger is an overt expression of His holiness and justice which are attributes of His glory. Righteous anger is slow to develop (Psalm 86:15; 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Nahum 1:3), fully controlled (Psalm 78:38; 85:3), limited in duration (Psalm 30:5; Micah 7:18) and always fulfills its intended purpose which is transformation (Psalm 90:7). Human anger, while originally created in the image of God’s anger, has been tainted by sin.

Rather than expressing righteous anger towards injustice and evil we display anger when we believe that our selfish wants and desires are not being fully satisfied. This is the definition of flesh, selfishly trying to meet our wants and desires rather than depending on God for our provision. Add to this a lack of behavioral control (possibly resulting from a brain dysfunction) and you have an individual who lives at the mercy of his fleshly feelings and emotions (Galatians 5:19-21). Feel angry, explode! Feel anxious, blow up! Feel fearful, lash out! Rage then is the exact opposite of godly righteous anger. It develops quickly, is uncontrolled, lacks purpose, and because of its selfish nature results in long-lasting fear and anxiety.

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