How often have we heard it said that “Anger is sinful” ? This statement, in many cases, is a true statement with a Biblical foundation. (Please refer to Eccl 7:9, Gal 5:20, Eph 4:31-32,Col3:8, James 1:19 and many more).
However, for the Christian, it is important to understand that not all types of anger are equal. There is a special type of anger that is given to us from God. It serves a useful purpose in our Christian life, and should be an integral part of our walk of faith in the midst of a sinful world.
Let’s see what the Bible teaches us about the anger that pleases God…
Ps 4:4 (KJV)
4) Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Rom 1:18 (KJV)
18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Eph 4:26 (KJV)
26) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Ephesians 4:26 – “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” – Here we find a type of anger that pleases our Lord. It is a type of anger that is pointed toward the sin that we see in this fallen world. It is not a selfish type of anger, it is an anger motivated by Divine holiness and an understanding of sin’s results in the lives of mankind…
There are 6 aspects to this anger:
- It is an anger that affects our actions.
The Greek word for anger “orge” is a word that is defined as “to be enraged causing arousal to action”. Have you ever been so angry you couldn’t hold it in any longer. This is the type of anger we are talking about.
- It is an anger that mirrors the anger of God towards sin.
The Greek word for “anger” in Eph 4:26 is translated “wrath” in Rom 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness”. The same type of anger God has against sin is the same type we should have against sin. (see also Nums 22:22, Roms 9:22, Eph 5:6 etc)
- It is an anger that results in abstinence from sin.
In our Eph text, we can see that the result of being angry at sin is to “sin not”.
- It is an anger that we should act upon quickly.
In our text, we can see that we should deal with the issue on a daily basis and not allow this anger to dwell in our lives for an extended period. “Let not the sun go down on your wrath.”
For example, when we experience this type of anger against a sin, we should not put off dealing with it. When we see sin in our lives that causes us this anger, we are to confess and repent. (1 John 1:8-9) When we enter into a temptation that will lead to sin, we are to quickly remove ourselves from this temptation. We are not to “think about it”, nor “dwell on it”. This is reaffirmed in the next verse that says… “Neither give place to the devil”.
Finally, when we see sin in the lives of others, we are to follow Scriptural dictates in dealing with the issue. For sin in the lives of saved individuals, we are to approach them with humility and love seeking to help them (Gals 6:1-2). If the sin we see is in the lives of one who has not been saved, we are to share with them the gospel message through our words and actions, realizing their only hope of forgiveness and a changed life lies in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19)
Please notice that Ephesians 4:26 is closely related to Psalm 4:4…
Ephesians 4:26 – “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
Psalm 4:4 – “ Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
By looking at Psa 4:4. we can learn two more facts about this type of anger….
- First of all, the motive driving a Godly anger is spoken of…. It is an awe of God.
To be in “awe” of God means that we begin to see and understand His greatness, holiness, sovereignty and love; as well as all He has done for us. Why should we be angry at sin? Because we serve a holy God who loved us and gave Himself for us? Should we not hate sin as does He?
- Also, notice we need to meditate on our day, on His greatness, the sin we have seen, and how we have dealt with that sin.
By meditating on our day, we will be able to identify any missed sin, deal with it and be prepared with a “clean slate” for the coming day. If we do this, we can then rest peacefully or “be still”; knowing we have done His will.
For those who are saved …
We should all be asking Him for grace, so that we can have the appropriate anger towards sin and the wisdom to deal with sin when we see it.
For those who have yet to be saved…
The Lord desires for you to deal with the sin that is in your life. Look into His Word to see God’s attitude about sin, sin’s results for your life and the remedy for your sinful condition.
You can learn more about all these subjects by looking at my blog page entitled How To Have A Relationship With God