Anger Without Sin

Anger in itself is not a sin. It is a natural emotion that, at times, is felt and expressed–within parameters. The Apostle Paul admonished, “In your anger do not sin; do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” Eph. 4:26.

Two of Jesus’ disciples, James and John, were nicknamed “sons of thunder.” Scripture isn’t clear how they earned this name, but Luke gives a little clue. When certain Samaritan people closed their village to Jesus and His disciples, James and John blurted out,

“Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” Luke 9:54

This was a pretty extreme response, don’t you think? Everyone knows that no love was lost between the Jews and the Samaritans. Although their intentions may have been honorable, the disciples’ motives were wrong. In anger, they sought retaliation.

Anger is okay if it’s accompanied with grief (i.e., Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, but He grieved at the same time because prayer was being interrupted in His Father’s House.) We may be angry when our child makes a wrong decision; however, grief over his lack of wisdom will temper our temper. We can be outraged about the killing of the unborn, but sorrow over man’s depravity of mind will keep us from lashing out in a sinful manner.

How do you keep your anger in check?