Anger is an emotion. It is not an attitude. It is an emotional response to an injustice or an evil act. Feelings and emotions are not sinful unless they become an unrighteous attitude. When anger becomes hatred and malice, then sin has been conceived in the heart. If anger is controlled by grace, correction and mercy, then it will produce a positive and beneficial deterrent to evil.
Anger is defined by the dictionary as: “A strong feeling of being upset or annoyed because of something wrong or bad.”
Anger produces strong feelings which must be overcome and controlled.
A common temptation which Satan uses against the saints and sinners is an event which stirs up the emotion of anger. Satan will try to convince them that their emotions are evil.
To be frustrated by someone’s unrighteous conduct is not a sin. If you allow that frustration to grow into revenge, retaliation or bitterness, then, it would become a sin issue.
To be angry with someone for their unrighteous conduct is not a sin. If you allow your anger to become an evil attitude against that person; then, it defiles your heart.
Anger must be controlled by the love and grace which God gives to all His children. Anger does not begin as an attitude; but, if it is not controlled, it will affect the attitude and cause malice, hatred or bitterness to rise up in the heart and defile the soul.
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
The key point in this verse is being “angry with his brother without a cause.”
The cause of your anger must be a just and righteous. If you do not have a just cause for your anger then you are out of order.
If you are angry with someone, your most likely need to go to that person and explain why you are angry. And, if someone is angry with you, you most likely need to go to them and find out the cause of the offense and do your part in being reconciled to that person.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Not only must you control your anger and not allow it to become a grudge, you must respond to someone’s anger at you and do the kind and charitable thing to be reconciled to that person.
God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
To be angry at an unjust act or some wickedness is not out of order.
God is angry with the wicked every day.
Jesus was sometimes angry with the wickedness of the religious Jews.
False doctrine and false religion should stir up our anger and move us to stand in defense of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are many cautions and warning in the Holy Scriptures teaching us to be careful that we do not let our anger get out of control.
He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
Don’t be a person who is quick or hasty to become angry. A person who is quick to be angry will often err in his judgment and opinion of others.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
God is not hasty to become angry. He is merciful and kind to every person.
By God’s grace you have the power to rule your spirit and be slow to anger.
The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
Discretion as defined by the dictionary is: “the quality of being careful about what you do and say so that people will not be embarrassed or offended. If you are careful and in control of your emotions, you will be able to delay and/or overcome your expression of anger.
It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
We may also add that this counsel is true with “a contentious and an angry man.” An angry person is not in the right frame of mind to be a peacemaker.
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
God does not retain His anger. He is always ready to forgive. We should be like Him. Consider the next two passages of scripture.
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
I think that some people think that they are doing the work of God when they are angry at some perceived offense. The response to help another person should usually take precedence over being angry with them. Be quick to forgive. Instead of condemning and being critical, try to understand how you can help them learn to do good.
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Many fathers think that they are making their children strong and independent when they provoke them to anger. Christians do not yield to that temptation to allow their anger to become wrath or malice.
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
The character of a bishop is an example of how each child of God should attain in their conduct.
16 And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the Lord your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the Lord had commanded you.
17 And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.
18 And I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.
19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the Lord was wroth against you to destroy you. But the Lord hearkened unto me at that time also.
20 And the Lord was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.
Disobedience, rebellion, idolatry, etc. are evil deeds which stir up the anger and wrath of God. You can make God angry at you and you will suffer the terrible consequence.
There is a time to be angry.
And, there is a time to show compassion and mercy.
Don’t fall into the devil’s snare by being too hasty to show your displeasure at some wrong deed or hurtful word.
Jesus Christ is our example and he was sometimes angry, but without sin.
Don’t let your anger cause you to sin against your own soul.