Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil”
Everyone has had to deal with anger, at one point or the other, against themselves, another person, or God. It is a problem we all have to deal with.
Apostle Paul provided a management approach to anger from our text. This approach shows that we need to control our emotions and know at which point to de-escalate.
Anger is an emotion. People have different ways of managing their emotions. While some people could manage their emotions well to prevent the escalation of anger, most people find it difficult to control their anger.
Is anger a sin?
The simple answer is that anger is a normal human emotion and not a sin. However, anger could lead to sin when it is not well managed. Everybody gets angry at one point or the other. As humans, we have different emotions, including fear, anger, sadness, happiness, affection, etc. How we manage our emotions (fear, anger, sadness, happiness, affection) varies and could reflect our mental and spiritual maturity.
Is there godly anger?
The simple answer is that as believers filled with the Holy Ghost, we have divine nature, which allows us to emotions against every form of unrighteousness. Therefore, we could show anger to express displeasure in evil acts and rebuke those who are erring. For example, the Bible admonishes us to abhor that which is evil. However, anger is never a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So, the term godly anger may not be scriptural, but an expression of our displeasure about an unpleasant situation and ungodly behaviours is scripturally appropriate in as much as we do that out of love. A godly expression of anger is appropriate only when it is done out of LOVE.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (Rom. 12:9)
When is anger bad?
Wrath is noted as one of the works of the flesh in the Bible (Galatians 5:19-21). Wrath is an escalated form of anger, and it could lead to holding grudges against others or finding it difficult to forgive people that hurt us. Anger is bad when we are unable to control our anger. Anger is like a seed. It can grow and produce fruits of bitterness, hatred, wrath, and unforgiveness.
Why do we get angry?
We get angry because of our feelings about what other people do or say to us. We could also get angry with ourselves and God. It is our emotional reaction to situations and life experiences that are directed toward living and non-living things. You are not alone when you have to deal with annoying people each day. You may not be able to get rid of them. But here is the truth, anger comes from the inside and not the outside.
So, how do we manage anger?
In the secular world, anger management is a core course. However, as Christians, the Holy Spirit makes anger management easy for us by producing the fruit of the spirit called self-control (Galatians 5:23). You may not have control over so many situations, but you can control your response to them. Understanding this truth and taking responsibility makes us a victor and not a victim.
Jesus’ response to those who crucified and mocked Him was Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
Stephen’s response to those who stoned him was, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Paul also said in Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
The best way to manage our anger is to embrace LOVE. Love produces self-control and helps us to de-escalate in a tense emotional situation.
Therefore, we must settle differences in love and humility, communicate well with the people around us and build healthy relationships.