BIBLE Q & A: Is it sin to be angry?


The question is asked: "Is it sin to be angry?"

There are many occasions when a Christian may be rightly angered by some ugly word or incident and thus be strongly tempted to respond in kind. Ephesians 4:6 said: "Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath."

This verse teaches that such reaction is sin for a Christian. It urges us to get control of our anger before sundown. We are not to let our anger fester until it breaks out in action.

A very similar command was given long ago to Old Testament believers also. "Stand in awe, and sin not commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah" (Psalm 4:4).

When angry, it is far better to wait and communicate with God about it in bed than to bring recriminations in the street (or perhaps, in the home) against the ones who have angered us.

The Lord Jesus Himself is always our example.

"Who when He was reviled, reviled not again: when He suffered, He threatened not: but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously" (I Peter 2:23).

Anger is often one of the most difficult areas to overcome in the Christian life. As James said, "The tongue can no man tame; … Therewith bless we God, even the Father and therewith curse we men, who are made after the similitude of God…My brethren, these things ought not so to be" (James 3:8-10).

Nevertheless, what man cannot tame God can. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20).

God tells us: "Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord" (Romans 12:19).

Anger may come, but to act in anger is sin. The Bible says that God is angry with the wicked every day. And Christ shows righteous anger when He entered the temple and found there those who bought and sold. He overturned their tables and chased them out of God’s house. He told them, "Do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise, for my house shall be called a house of prayer. . . ."

If you have a Bible question write to Pastor Lenard Huebscher, 12721 75th St. North, Stillwater MN 55082 or call 651-430-3132.