How to Be Angry Without Sinning – Part One

Ephesians 4: 26, 27

Do you ever get angry? Do you even have an anger management problem? A biblical understanding of anger will be addressed in these six columns.

In answer to the first question I must answer guilty. Yes, like Jesus, I get angry. Like Jesus? Yes, more than once He is depicted as getting angry like His Father God. Consider:

The Scripture does not teach that God doesn’t get angry. It teaches He is slow to anger. Note:

Psalm 30:5 “His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life.”

Isaiah 12: 1 “In that day you will say: ‘O Lord, I will praise You; Though you were angry with me, Your anger is turned away and You comfort me.”

Micah 7: 18 “He does not retain His anger forever…”

Hosea 11: 9 “I will execute the fierceness of My anger…”

Nehemiah 9:17 “But You are God … slow to anger…”

Joel 2: 13 “Return to the Lord your God … For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger….”

Again I say, God does get angry and so should you. Don’t take that statement out of context nor apply it apart from the way it is now to be developed.

Jesus went into the temple and found they were not praying and worshiping, but buying and selling. He turned over the tables of the money changers and drove them out. Can you imagine Him doing this passively?

Don’t tune out after this statement. The Bible not only teaches us that God gets angry, it also encourages us to get angry. That demands some biblical interpretation. Without an understanding of this statement, improper license to get angry might be taken.

Our text says, “Be angry, and do not sin.”  Literally, ” [A] Be sure to be angry, but [B] do not sin.

There is a clean anger. It is righteous indignation such as expressed by Jesus over evil. Failure to become angry over evil is a sign of unlikeness to Jesus. If the spirit of Jesus is in us we can’t stand by passively watching wrong being heaped upon wrong.

To gain a biblical understanding of this subject, consider two groups of anger. One is ventilation and the other indignation. One is good, the other isn’t. One is characteristic of Jesus and should be of us, the other isn’t a trait of our Lord and should not be of us.

One ventilation is a term used for improper anger, the losing of the temper, blow-up kind.

The other indignation is a term for the feelings of Jesus in the temple. It is a strong displeasure over unrighteousness. Indignation means you become incensed. When it is vented toward sin it is righteous indignation and that is good.

These two will be developed further in the next post.