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A Right Way to Show Anger

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A Right Way to Show Anger

But our emotions must be examined. They must be sanctified and controlled by the Holy Spirit, or they can easily become sin to us.

Today we’re looking at anger and here’s the deal. Did you know that anger should not always be suppressed? There’s actually a right time and a right way to show anger.

I grew up in a family system that didn’t allow anger (Amish were pacifist). My dad would say, “People don’t get mad. Animals do!”

Consequently, I always thought anger in any form was wrong. People who protested for any reason were always wrong (unions/civil rights movement). Good people never show anger. They never speak out. But I have grown up since then. I have come to realize that silence is not always golden. Sometimes it’s plain YELLOW!

Anger can be a powerful emotion for change. If it’s used in the right way it accomplishes much good, but used wrong, it destroys.

The key is found in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be angry, but do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”

The Amplified Bible says; “Be angry [at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger last until the sun goes down [causing you shame]. And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, by nurturing anger, by harboring resentment, or by cultivating bitterness].”

They tell us this election, perhaps more than others, has been fueled by an angry electorate. If that’s true of you, be sure to check your heart. Be certain that you are angry for the right reasons.

And how can we know? Begin by asking yourself, is God angry about the same things that anger me?

Ask yourself, “Is my anger driven by a sense of self-protection or am I more upset about those who cannot protect themselves?”

In the Old Testament, God was angry at His children, Israel because they loved worship but didn’t care one bit about the injustice all around them.

  • God said, I’m tired of you being in love with worship but showing no love to those who are powerless, who daily experience injustice.
  • He said, I hate your festivals, your incense is detestable to Me, your worship has become a burden to me.

God said to the Israelites, be angry about the powerless. Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

God also became angry when His people were living in sin but still gathering to worship and acting as if everything was just fine.

Jeremiah 7:9-11 “Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears My name, become a den of thieves? I have been watching you!”

Jesus quoted these very same verses when He cleansed the temple.

You see, God’s is always more concerned about the condition of our hearts than the mere form of our worship.


About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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