Can A Christian Be Angry and Not Sin?

“Be angry and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). Is this even possible?

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). And one of his Scriptural commands is, “Be angry, and do not sin.”
Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). And one of his Scriptural commands is, “Be angry, and do not sin.”

To get angry is normal. Like love, it is a human emotion. Like love, it is an emotion that God also feels. Scriptures share instances where God Himself got angry. Yes, God who cannot sin got angry. That means anger is not inherently wrong. That means that God’s anger is always rightly caused and rightly managed. God became angry with Solomon because his heart turned away from God. God got angry with Moses in the wilderness because he took the glory away from God.

A Christian can get angry for the right reasons.

It is normal to get angry when an offense is committed when boundaries are overstepped, and when principles are violated. It’s right to be angry when there’s disobedience or a breaking of trust. These are all valid reasons.

Scriptures tell us that getting angry easily and at the slightest of reasons is wrong. Ecclesiastes 7:9 tells us not to be eager in our heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.  Patience must be afforded when needed. Rebellion or repetitive abuse towards you rightly causes anger but first-time offenses may be unintentional and need only your loving rebuke and redirection.

You should also be careful not to get angry when your expectations aren’t met. There are reasonable expectations and there are unreasonable ones. Just because somebody doesn’t measure up to your standards doesn’t mean they are deserving of your anger.

Our Father is angry when we sin and do wrong because no good thing ever comes from a life of sin. But God never gets angry about our weakness or shortcomings. He never chides us or belittles us for our failings. No. He encourages us and empowers us towards betterment.

Right Anger is Anger Managed Rightly

Throughout Scriptures, we see a God who deals with sin yet loves the sinning. We see consequences but we also see mercy. We see broken fellowship but we also see restoration.

The Bible coaches us on how to rightly manage anger:

  1. Do not prolong your anger.

Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” We should never let our anger turn into something else. If we are able to deal with the issue then confront it. If there is no way to directly settle the problem, then we prayerfully wait and seek God’s help for an opportunity to right the wrong that has been committed against us.

  1. let anger control you.

Proverbs 29:11 says, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end”. No matter how valid your reason for anger is you must not allow it to dominate you and steer you into an uncontrollable outburst. Even if the hurt is too much, remember that a Spirit yielded life will exercise control.

  1. Do not let anger drive you to unwholesome talk.

In our anger, we must keep in mind the purpose of our rebuke; to point out wrong and to warn the offender not to repeat the same mistake again. Ephesians 4:29 tells us not to allow foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk to come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful. The world lashes out in anger. The world curses belittle and shames. But we are not the world. We are the church. While some may even say it feels better to speak out like that, in the end, what profit does corrupt talk really bring? Does it better how people look at you? Does it solve your problem? Does it help the offender?

  1. Do not let anger make you bitter and vengeful.

Ephesians 4:27 warns us that prolonged anger gives the enemy a foothold. It gives him an opening for manipulating us into thinking and doing the wrong things. Anger is often prolonged when it remains unexpressed and undealt with. It is actually healthier to express and explain your anger early on. When matters are dealt with, resentment and bitterness will not creep in.

Some offenders may refuse to change. When someone hurts us repeatedly, anger may build up. So if we are able, we should remove ourselves from any situation that will allow the offender to do us wrong again. We should not allow wrong to continue.

Some offenses may be overwhelmingly hurtful and tragic and thus have no remedy. While a desire to hurt back may arise, settle your heart and mind onto praying for and seeking justice. Romans 12:19 reminds us not to take revenge but to allow God to work out justice for us. Wait on God to move and allow Him to heal you as you wait on Him.

  1. Do not let anger make you unforgiving.

In Matthew 18:21,22 Jesus tells us to forgive without taking count. Colossians 3:13 tells us to exercise a forgiving spirit just as we have been recipients of God’s forgiveness. Forgiving is not always easy, it is a supernatural act. It is something we allow the Holy Spirit to prepare and empower us for. We may not immediately be ready to forgive, but if we are willing; the readiness will always come.

Written by Ana Menez

I serve with a training & equipping organization. I am also a freelance writer and I take great interest in writing and sharing growth resources. Reading is one of my great loves. I love it for all its fresh insights and points of view that help as I consider issues relevant to my faith life.

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