I recently found myself angry over what I felt was someone questioning my honesty. This anger caused me to ponder what it means to be angry, but not sin. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”
Merriam-Webster defines anger as a strong feeling of being upset or annoyed because of something wrong or bad: the feeling that makes someone want to hurt other people, to shout, etc.
Using Christ as our example and who all Christians seek to emulate, the Bible records Jesus being ‘angry’ when He found the moneychangers in the Temple. Matthew 21:12-13 records that “…Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
When I compare and contrast my anger with that of Christ, I see clearly that Christ had a righteous anger; the root of His anger was concern for the worship of God, while mine was concern for how I was being treated. Every example of Jesus expressing anger was related to God being maligned or others being mistreated. Jesus was never angry at what was being done against Him.
There are many scriptures that provide us guidance on anger:
Anger that is self-defensive, self-serving, selfish, or that resents the actions of others is the type of anger that is sinful. The best way to determine if our anger is a righteous anger is to line it up against Christ’s example – is it a righteous anger or a self-serving anger?
My anger was self-righteous and self-serving; how dare someone question my honesty was my mindset. As Christians, we are a peculiar people and our behavior and attitude are different. It is through this difference that we best demonstrate our love of God.
Colossians 13:1; 8; 12-13 sums it up perfectly
“1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Glory To God and Blessings - Janice
Associate Certified Coach, ICF