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"Be Angry and Do not Sin"


     Anger is one of the most misunderstood emotions within the Church today.  I have many clients that struggle with their anger, stating that it is sinful and wrong to even feel angry.  Even some well known counselors within the body of Christ speak negatively of this emotion.

      The Bible says much about anger that can be liberating for the believer in Christ.  Jesus expressed His anger when he “drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves.  And He said to them, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves” Matthew 21:12, 13.  His “righteous anger” is because of people doing something against the heart and purposes of God.     

      When is it okay for you to be angry?  What about when someone hurts you, or bothers you, or offends you? How does God feel about you being hurt by another?  How does he want you to feel about it?  How does He want you to deal with your anger?  Some will even deny they are feeling the emotion at all saying, “Oh I wasn’t angry, I was just frustrated (annoyed, irritated, upset, mad, bothered, etc; these are all variations of a theme on anger). 

        Anger is an emotion, just like any other emotion.  The emotion of anger is often not the problem, but what we do with our anger that defines it as sinful or not.  Ephesians 5:26, 27 states, “Be angry, and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."  When someone does not know how to deal with their anger appropriately, their anger can build, develop, and be expressed through “fits of rage” or “aggression”.        

          Matthew 18:15-20, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone…  When someone sins against you and you become angry, this passage is giving you (and I)  a way to deal with your (our)  feelings; talk about it, deal with it, work it out, whatever it takes.  If you can’t resolve it alone, work it out with a friend, an elder, a pastor, a counselor, but please, don’t let the sun go down on your wrath and give the devil a foothold into your life and your relationships, especially in your family and in your marriage and in your most important relationships with friends and in your church body.  Life is too precious, as are the relationships within the body of Christ.  Do not let the sun go down on your wrath!!!

                      In Christ,  

       David L. Brower, MSW, LCSW


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