Lion of the Tribe of Judah

“(26) And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, (27) for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” {Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT}

“(26) BE ANGRY, AND [yet] DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, (27) and do not give the devil an opportunity.” {Ephesians 4:26-27 NASB}

“(4) Tremble (Be angry), and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still. Selah.” {Psalm 4:4 NASB}

“(4) Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude” {Psalm 4:4 NLT}

Should circumstances arise to call for anger on your part, let it be as Christ’s “anger” (Mark 3:5), without sin.

Those circumstances are where injustice to God’s glory or to human dignity have not been able to be resolved, carefully and prayerfully, by any other means.  Godly anger must be motivated by a love of God and others and an expression of a hatred of true moral evil.  It can hate the sin while loving the sinner.  It is controlled, focused, and not abusive to others. 

Our natural feelings are not wrong when directed to their legitimate object, and when not exceeding due boundaries.

Because of this indignation at dishonor done to God, and wrong to man, is justifiable anger. But we must be able to use our anger as a tool to accomplish God’s will and not be the slave to our anger with it controlling us.  When our anger is out of control it is never godly anger.

Godly anger is also short lived and does not turn into bitterness.

“(31) Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. (32) Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” {Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT}

So, godly anger is like a nuclear power plant where the radioactive energy is under control and used to bring life to a city.  While ungodly anger is like a nuclear bomb that explodes without control and brings death. 

The first person we should express our anger to is God in prayer.  

As Bill Gaultiere explains:

“Maybe it’s when a friend hurts your feelings, someone criticizes you, your child disobeys you, you make a mistake, or your driving your car and you get cut off…

Imagine yourself in that stressful situation…

Then pray with the Psalmist:

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me…

Take up shield and buckler;

Arise and come to my aid…

Say to my soul, “I am your salvation”…

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord

And delight in his salvation.

My whole being will exclaim,

“Who is like you, O Lord?” (Psalm 35:1-3, 9-10).

When we keep praying in the Psalmist’s way we’re being honest about the situation we’re in and how we feel. We’re not stuffing our emotions and getting depressed or resentful, nor are we going to the other extreme and speaking or acting out of anger in ways that hurt people. In fact, to help us release our anger we may need to use some other Psalms that have intense angry prayers.”[1]

We can also see that godly anger normally includes taking a step back, pause, time out, and processing time to think instead of being just a reaction to something or someone. 

There is a danger that we will “baptize” our ungodly anger and use it to religiously abuse others and live in self-righteousness.   So, we must be very careful not to use “godly anger” as a way to justify or sinful anger.

Anger can be one way we can be like Christ Jesus if it is truly guided by love and God’s spirit.  Yet, this requires us to be very mature emotionally and spiritually, and very careful to be involved in honest self-examination to avoid self-justification to see ourselves as righteous. 

So, be angry when you must be as a last resort but make sure you don’t sin and avoid bitterness at all cost.

Prayer

Lord, help me not find ways to feel self-righteous when I lose my temper.  Help my focus be on showing mercy, grace, love, patience, and forgiveness to others and not be in an attitude of judgment on them thinking that I am better and brighter than they are all the time.  When needed help me hate evil and express godly anger in a focused controlled way, first in my prayers, and then in careful, prayerful, and thoughtful ways for the common good of all and your glory. 

Amen


[1] https://www.soulshepherding.org/angry-prayers-can-bring-peace/