Battles and Passions: Anger, Hatred, Envy (Archimandrite Vassilios Bakoyiannis)

St John Chrysostom: “We admire the King seated on his throne, wearing the sumptuous crown and gown. But man is much more admirable for creating the mind of the King; he put his on his throne, and from up there he governs his passions, by putting up his head a shiny, spiritual crown” (“If your Enemy is Hungry” 4 P.G. 51: 177). (Pg.13).

“There is one great thing about man that I admire: His control of his assions” (Al. Carrel).




“But you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice…” (Col. 3:8)

“Put on the whole armor of God… For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood…take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand…

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of sal-vation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:11-17)




The bodily instincts (passions) are hunger, sleep etc. They have one common purpose, the biological sustenance of man. (They are called blameless passions). The instinct of hunger leads man to feel the lack of food. Man stays alive by eating. He eats so that he may live, not live in order to eat. The same thing applies to the instinct of thirst, etc.

Man also has spiritual blameless passions (instincts): zeal, anger, wrath, fear, and sorrow. Like the passions of the body, which serve to help us survive physically, the purpose of the spiritual passions is to sustain us to survive spiritually. We have the passion of anger in order to feel anger against the evil and by doing so to cut ties from it. We also have jealousy; to be jealous of the good and then imitate it. In addition, we have fear in order to make us humble and by doing that we manage to survive spiritually etc.

God has placed our mind at the highest point of our body, in the forehead; in order to oversee all our passions. Scripture calls it “the Master of the passions” (1 Macc. 1:7).

Our mind is the governor of our passions. It should move and set them in the right motion. Nevertheless, because their fulfilment is accompanied by pleasure, it is hard for us who are lustful, to say “no” to something that gives us pleasure. As a consequence, reason is being carried away by the impulse of pleasure and it becomes the slave of passions. We do not eat to live but we live to eat.

Thus, we do not use our passions for survival but for our self-destruction; instead of contributing to our salvation they become means of our condemnation.

The devil is a virgin, but he is still the devil. Most Christians try to avoid sinning bodily while spiritually they are boiling over with anger, hatred, envy, etc. The spiritual passions “are worse and more serious than the bodily passions”. They don’t create a feeling of remorse in reference to the bodily passions and lead to repentance. They mess up the soul more than the bodily passions do without our realizing it. They are so dangerous that they “even lead into a condition that is like the demons”. The fearful expressions “woe to you” (Mt. 23:13-33), that Jesus applied to the Pharisees who were slaves of spiritual passions!

When Adam was in paradise, he had the same passions of body and soul but in the right form. E.g. he ate in the glory of God, he was angry in the detriment of evil, he hated the evil, etc. and by doing so he elevated himself spiritually. But he sinned and his passions changed direction. After the fall, he ate to fill his stomach, he was angry with his brother, he hated his brother etc. He downgraded spiritually speaking. And we have inherited this false function of the passions. Our mission is to reset them in their initial function, the one before the fall.

“Evil and passion do not exist by nature in the humans, because God is not the creator of evil and passions”. Which means that “the image of God did not disappear but it has been blurred, just as the mirror”. Thus, the clear nature that Adam had before the fall is alive inside us. It is simply concealed by the distorted nature that his sin created. It groans because it is oppressed.

It groans particularly when we do things against its virtuous wish, when we are angry with our brother, when we hate, envy or do him wrong. On the contrary, it rejoices when we do things according to its wish, when we forgive our brother, we love him and we do good to him.

It is true that we feel differently when we love or forgive our brother from how we feel when we hate or do not forgive him, let alone the consequences that this has on the health of our soul and body.






  1. “Whoever Is Angry…”
  2. “Be Angry, and Do Not Sin”
  3. The Sinful Anger
  4. Anger: the Mirror of the Soul
  5. Anger: Temporary Madness
  6. When the Other Person Is Angry
  7. When You Are Angry Too
  8. 8. “Do Not Let the Sun Go down”
  9. How Is Anger Controlled?




  1. Hatred Against Evil
  2. “The Devious Person”
  3. “Murderer”
  4. Who Is the Loser?
  5. The ‘Eye’ of a Hater
  6. You Take No Notice?”
  7. The Way to Hell
  8. Hatred and Holy Communion
  9. How Is Hatred Beaten?
  10. The Innocent Makes the First Move
  11. “If Your Enemy Is Hungry”
  12. What Is Your Gain?
  13. The Devil and Reconciliation
  14. Hatred in the Old Testament
  15. Hate Among Christians




  1. Hatred and Envy
  2. Envy, Vanity
  3. The Sickness of Affinity
  4. Torture
  5. Envy and Murder
  6. Demonic Power
  7. When They Envy Us
  8. Against Envy



  1. Passions and Illnesses
  2. Before the Sick
  3. “Security”
  4. The Seedless Tree
  5. Our “Character”
  6. Passions and Holy Grace





1st English Edition. 2020. All rights reserved

Translation: Sofia Kougianou, MA in Translation Studies, University of Birmingham

Proofreading: Melinda Bende, MA in English Language and Literature, University of Szeged


Cover design:

Chrysostomos Tromboukis, BA

Publisher: Archangels Publications


wholesale: or phone 314 614 0843





The Greek author, the Archimandrite Vassilios Bakoyiannis was born in 1953. He is a graduate of the Theological Academy of Athens and of the Theological School of the University of Belgrade. He received his M.A. in Theology from St. Vladimir’s Seminary and his Ph.D. from the Atlantic International University (U.S.A.). In 1974 he began writing and since then has written over 50 spiritual books. The publication of his books in Greece has been exclusively undertaken by “Thavor” publications, which have been exclusively established for this purpose and for which he exclusively writes. Several of his books have been translated from the Greek language into English, German, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Arabic, Serbian, Bulgarian, Indonesian, Swahili. He was ordained in 1980 and serves the Holy Metropolis of Patras in Greece.



1. Tearful Eyes 2. Christian or an Actor? 3. The world’s Final call 4. A Monk’s Adventure 5. Confronting the Devil 6. After Death 7. Food and Spirituality 8. Forty Stormy Years 9. Great Christian Feasts 10. Confession 11. JESUS His Unknown Side 12. Highly Favored One. The Life of Mariam (The Virgin Mary) 13. St. John Chrysostom. Holy Communion. How & when 14. Lion Tamer: On Taming the Tongue 15. Heresy in One

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