Anger Management, Part 1

“Be angry and sin not.” (Ephesians 4:26)

How can you do that, and why is anger forbidden?

First, not all anger is forbidden. The text specifically says “be angry.” It also says “sin not.”

There are some things it is wrong to be angry about and some it would be sin not to be angry about. Differentiating between them is the challenge. This is not a license to give vent to your pet peeves.

According to Scripture not all anger is wrong. Righteous anger should arise when we witness “an offense against God or His Word.” Righteous anger shows that we care about things that matter to God. It is the normal and natural response to certain things. It attacks the sin, not the sinner. 

Anger turns to wrath if not managed by God. It builds if there is no closure. 

Therefore, don’t let it fester. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31) Don’t hang on to your anger, but never forget what it taught you.

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8)

“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”

“…because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”   (Proverbs 29:11 and James 1:20)

“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29) Speak when you are angry and that will be the best speech you will ever regret.

As a teen my mom wrote and gave me a Scripture I have kept until this day: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) That has been proven to be good counsel. Don’t respond to an angry person in anger, even if it is deserved, lest that one’s anger becomes your anger. Don’t carry a mirror around to reflect another’s anger.

Avoid the sinful anger that is indigenous in our culture, and instead make an amalgam of these texts in your mind and aspire to live in accordance with them.“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)