Be Angry, But Do Not Sin

Be Angry, But Do Not Sin

Ephesians 4:26 – Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger… 

James 1:19-20 – Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

This passage in Ephesians complements James 1, saying that it’s ok to be angry, but how we handle that anger is where we have the choice to act either in the flesh or the Spirit. If you never get angry, you’re not an emotionally healthy person.

I recently talked with a pastor who said he never gets angry, and I thought, “Well then you’re a horrible pastor”. If someone comes in your office and tells you they were abused, you need to be angry because God is angry.

If someone harms a child, you should be angry. God created that child and wants health and safety for them, so if someone does something to affect that, you should be angry.

There’s a difference between being angry and sinning out of your anger. But what happens in our unrighteous, unholy, untethered anger is that there’s a trial, we get triggered, we get angry, and we use it to justify ungodly reaction and response.

If somebody points out that it wasn’t the right way to react, we automatically shift the blame and say “Well, let me tell you what they said, let me tell you what they did, let me tell you the terrible tale and that I’m the victim and not the villain.”

Anger on its own is not necessarily a sin. Anger is a passionate response, and it becomes a sin if you make a bad choice in the flesh and don’t react in the Spirit.

Are there areas of your life that you see it’s ok to have righteous, Spirit-filled anger?

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Mark Driscoll
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