Homer and Paul on Anger

Homer in The Iliad (Lattimore translation) has Achilleus setting aside his anger with these words:

Still, we will let all this be a thing of the past, though it hurts us, and beat down by constraint the anger that rises inside us. Now I am making an end of my anger. It does not become me unrelentingly to rage on.

I am reminded here of the Pauline injunction not to let the sun go down on one’s anger (Eph. 4:26). There are times when anger may be the appropriate response, but generally speaking “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). It does not become a Christian to be a characteristically angry man.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Col. 3:8-10)

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