Thursday, December 04, 2014
The Place of Anger
As we saw in yesterday's reflection, the first sentence in Ephesians 4:26 reads, "In your anger, do not sin." More literally, the Greek original could be translated, "Be angry, but do not sin." The main point is simple and direct: When you are angry, don't sin. This wording seems to imply that it is possible to be angry without sinning.YES!, Indeed I sin when I am angry, but I grow increasingly weary of people that tell me I am a sinner when I am angry instead of asking the question, "Why is he angry?" It seems to me that they use such as a doge to avoid looking at themselves or their contribution to the situation.
So, given my experience, I was once inclined to believe that all anger is sinful, at least to an extent. That's all I knew....But then there's the little problem of Jesus. The Gospels show us that our Lord became angry at times....When I was in college, one of my InterVarsity leaders, Steve, helped me see anger from a new perspective. He talked about how he felt when he witnessed injustice, when he heard of children being abused, when he saw people intentionally dishonor the Lord. Steve helped me understand that, indeed, feelings of anger could be a righteous response to sin, and therefore not sinful in and of themselves.
I agree with Roberts here, anger is not a priori sinful. Most of us, myself included, do not handle our anger well and sin as a result, but our anger is often rooted in real injustice. What a different place the world and the church would be if, when we witness anger, rather than declare the angry person as sinful, we asked what triggered their anger. If we used anger as a signal that there is something wrong in the situation. All we have to do is put ourselves inteh shoes of the angry person.
anger growth sin