Be angry...but do not sin

Are you righteously angry? Even personally angry? It's OK ... within limits.

"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger," (Ephesians 4:26)

Why should we deal with our anger right away? Because it is deceitful and it hardens us faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

"But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." (Hebrews 3:13).

And why should we take care of our anger or other sin as long as it is "today"? Because it takes our eyes off Jesus.

"And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" (Matthew 14:30).

How long did it take for Peter to sink after he took his eyes away? Immediately.

Ultimately the only thing our anger does is prevent us from producing righteousness.

"because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." (James 1:20)

Only God's anger produces righteousness. Barnes Notes says of the James 1:20 verse, that human anger "Does not produce in the life that righteousness which God requires. Its tendency is not to incline us to keep the law, but to break it; not to induce us to embrace the truth, but the opposite...A man is never sure of doing right under the influence of excited feelings; he may do that which is in the highest sense wrong, and which he will regret all his life. The particular meaning of this passage is, that wrath in the mind of man will not have any tendency to make him righteous."


Further reading

How can I know for sure that my anger is righteous indignation?

"What does the Bible say about anger?"


  1. Your post took my thoughts to Hebrews 12:14-15

    "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled"

    "Bitterness" (Gk. pikria), can be used both literal and figurative. Literally, it denotes a bitter taste of food or drink. Figuratively, it is used to describe anger, animosity, or harshness and is used to describe persons and circumstances.

    The O.T., contains both uses of pikria. There are the bitter waters (Ex. 15:23), the bitterness of the soul that results from external circumstances (Job 3:20), and man's attitudes of bitterness (Jer. 2:21). Significantly, bitterness in man is a trait that will incur judgment from God (Deut. 29:18).

    In the N.T., it is used in its figurative connotation. Bitterness, along with anger, rage, brawling, slander, and malice, are characteristics of those without Jesus Christ ( Eph. 4:31). Also, as in the O.T., it is associated with God's judgment. Peter declared the judgment of God against Simon using the phrase, "for I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness" (Acts 8:20-23).

    A "root of bitterness" refers to a spirit and attitude that can be characterized by intense animosity and resentment. Bitterness can be directed toward persons in the church. It results in defiling the person who is bitter, making him or her unfit to approach God in prayer (Isa. 59:1-2). Bitterness in the community of believers can spread and defile many, destroying the "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord."


  2. Elizabeth,

    Thank you for this post. It was something I needed to meditate on, and was very helpful.



Post a Comment