"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Ephesians 4:26
Are you angry this morning- with someone, with a situation, with yourself? (I know I started out with a very pointed question this morning, but it is one that we need to address and get straight to the heart of the subject.)
The subject of anger is one of those things where the church seems to be divided- some teach that you should not get angry because it doesn't demonstrate Christian character; others teach that Jesus got angry so it is all right if we do.
Being angry is not a sin. The scripture above actually says to "be angry". There are times when we should be angry- over sin, when we see injustice, when we see others being abused and mistreated, when we see sacrilege in the house of God. It is a natural human emotion just like the emotion of happiness that we get when something good has happened to us. But having said that, the scripture also warns us in our anger to "sin not".
Anger that is left unchecked, that is not disciplined, that is not controlled will develop into something that is sinful. It will take root in our hearts and come out in "wrath". Jesus ruled His anger, His anger did not rule Him. Had it, when He turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple, He would not have stopped there, He would have called down the wrath of God to consume them all.
How do we keep from crossing the line from anger being a natural emotion to something that is sinful? "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath". There is our answer. When you are angry- for the right reason, not just because someone got on your last nerve or things didn't go according to your plans- then you need to make sure that you don't hold on to it and "stew" over it for days, weeks or years. At that point it is no longer anger but "wrath". So basically what the scripture is saying is, be angry but then get over it. Make sure you are over it before the sun goes down. So even while anger in some cases is not wrong, we are warned not to hold on to it but for a short time- until the sun goes down on that day.
Have a great day. Anger is not a sin, but holding on to it will lead to sin.
For further reading:
Proverbs 16:32; 15:18; 19:11; 14:17