Posted by: missionventureministries | October 26, 2017

BE ANGRY BUT DO NOT SIN – Ephesians 4:26-27

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). 

We must not let what is annoying us to get to the point where we lose control. It is important to deal with what is upsetting us before it reaches a critical point. 

As true believers we are a new creation in Jesus Christ and are no longer driven to sinful behavior by our old life. Peter tells us that, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). Therefore as a new creation in Christ we are to put off the behavior of our old sinful life, and are to put on the new life of the saint who lives by the Holy Spirit. Once we become a true Christian we are a different person and because of that we must live a different kind of life than the world around us lives. 

Our verse speaks about being angry but not sinning. There are two kinds of anger. First, the Christian can practice righteous anger. We see a great example of this when our Lord Jesus Christ cleansed the temple (Mark 11:15-18, Luke 19:45-47, John 2:14-16). What determines the kind of anger we are feeling, is what has caused the anger to rise up within us. In Jesus’ case He drove out those who were mocking God’s house by making it a market place a den of robbers and He told them: “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer.’” 

The second kind of anger is the wrong kind, where anger for instance overcomes a person when things are not going their way and prides takes over their mind. It would be good at those times to think on what James wrote, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1.19-20). 

The wrong kind of anger is when we get upset and angry because something or someone is interfering with our ego and all of a sudden it is not all about us anymore.  

Righteous anger on the other hand is if we are angry at someone because people lie against the truth of God, are against God’s purposes, defame the Name and Glory of God, cause others to sin and produce evil and destruction by their conduct and lack of respect for God. We can also be angry at mean and evil people who abuse and hurt innocent children and people. 

Psalm 97:10 says, “Let those who love the Lord, hate evil.” The more we know God and love truth and holiness, the more we will be angry for the right reason. 

God says “Be angry, and do not sin”. Therefore, a Christian should express righteous anger when righteous anger is called for but must be careful that this righteous anger does not become sinful anger, when it is allowed to become an attitude of resentment and intolerance toward another person. 

Sinful anger is often a sign of our need for a greater trust in God and a fuller giving of our life to Him. Sinful anger when examined often exposes a control problem and a need for more trust in God. Sinful anger is reflected when we have not made Jesus total Lord of all of our life and we have not yet fully accepted the Sovereignty of God over our lives.  

Sinful anger may also be because of un-forgiveness. Please remember what our Lord taught His disciples: “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). 

As we continue in our verse, it states: “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”. What this implies is that, if possible, we should deal with anger right away. We should not put off dealing with anger because, if we do not deal with it when we are convicted by the Spirit, we might not have an opportunity to deal with it again. A case and point is that the person you are angry at might not be alive tomorrow or when you decide to make amends with them. 

And lastly the verse tells us, “and give no opportunity to the devil. This it is directly tied to the feeling of anger. To hold onto anger against another person opens the door of our life to the Devil. Sin brings death, and that is Satan’s aim, to bring about death and an eternity in hell apart from God. 

As we have seen, anger by itself is not sin. There is an anger that is justified, which we call “righteous indignation.” But nurturing anger for the wrong reason, which is the selfish fulfillment of a desire, gives Satan the footing that he needs; which can easily turn into bitterness and a sinful act. 

If you have a disagreement with someone or you feel someone has wronged you go to that person and discuss the situation with them; this is what the Bible tells us to do. Do not act from your sinful nature by saying something rash that will dishonor God and is destructive to others and yourself, damaging His purposes for your life.  

Here are some additional verses to reflect on: 

  • Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9) 
  • Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth (Psalm 37:8-9).

Remember “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). And “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31)






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