February 10, 2023

Fear Fuels Anger

Written by Boyd Bailey

Our freedom in Christ rests in perfect love and engages in humble service to others.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 10, 2023

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom? And from that time on, Saul kept a close eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:8-9

Saul, once a raving fan of David, grew angry and jealous of David as he grew in popularity with the people. David’s fan base exceeded Saul’s, so out of fear of David’s success, Saul angrily lashed out at David…eventually, the King’s jealous anger moved him to track down David to murder him. Fortunately for Saul, David did not reciprocate vengeance, but instead, generous love and forgiveness toward his unjust attacker. When David had the chance to kill Saul and stop his selfish tirade…he chose instead to respect the position of God’s anointed and released him to the Lord’s discipline in the Lord’s timing. Saul’s angry fear of loss…led to the loss of his life.

Henri Nouwen insightfully shares how fear and anger diminish who we are and take away what we fear losing…freedom: 

“Fear and anger take our freedom away and make us victims of the strong seductions of our world. Fear, as well as anger, when we look at them in solitude and quiet, reveal to us how deeply our sense of worth is dependent either on our success in the world or on the opinions of others. We suddenly realize that we have become what we do or what others think of us.”

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18).

As Nouwen expresses, fear and anger make us slaves to what others think, and like Esau, we forfeit our birthright of being beloved by God and replace it with unhealthy self-indulgences. What are we to do when fear and anger court our hearts disguised as protectors and providers of what’s best for us? We expose pride’s foolishness by entering into our belovedness in Christ and rest in His blessings of love and forgiveness…which dismiss fear and anger. Fear feels the need to punish another before being punished…while love looks to forgive and celebrate another’s success. Our freedom in Christ rests in perfect love and engages in humble service to others. 

Evil is always in hot pursuit of you. Pursuit of stealing your joy. Pursuit of disrupting your peace. Pursuit of fueling your fears. Pursuit of rousing your anger. Pursuit of wrecking your relationships. So, in response to evil’s pursuit…like Jesus out of love and obedience to your Father in heaven, you endure whatever cross you bear, you release any shame and avoid blame, and in the process, grow in intimacy with the Father’s love, the Son’s encouragement, and the Spirit’s comfort. Be who you are…LOVED AND BELOVED…and watch fear and anger flee.

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:12).


Heavenly Father, replace my fear with your perfect love and my anger with your forgiveness through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.


What successes of another do I need to embrace and celebrate?

Related Reading

1 Samuel 18:1; Romans 8:15; Ephesians 3:12; 1 John 4:10

Worship Resource

Natalie Grant: This is Freedom


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