Ephesians 4:31. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”
Words mean things. I decided to look at the meaning of the words in this verse in their original Greek, and I was enlightened. The fine distinctions are important, and they cover all the bases.
Bitterness is sharpness, an acerbity of temper, ready to take offence and break out in anger. This kind of bitterness characterizes a person who is angry at a deep level, always quick to take offence and return fire with deadly accuracy in biting comments.
Rage and anger: Passionate outbursts, and the deeper anger of which it is at once effect and cause. Anger creates more anger, and becomes its own driving force until the person who harbors it has no other way of expressing himself.
Clamour: The loud fury of the first burst of wrath. This is the tsunami that roars in and destroys everything in its path. It is the tornado that comes unexpectedly, sounding like a nothing you’ve ever heard before. It’s scary and violent, and should never characterize a believer.
Evil speaking: This is the more settled and deliberate anger that follows the clamorous outburst. We’re hearing a lot of this during the primary election circus.
Malice: Evil- mindedness or malignity—the general disposition which is the opposite of goodness, graciousness, and sympathy. Malice accompanies bitterness, rage, anger, clamour, and evil-speaking. All of it needs to be removed, taken off, put away from the heart of a believer.