Monday, December 13, 2010

Be Angry But Do Not Sin

Contrary to what most people believe, Anger is allowable even in the lives of Christians. We usually immediately relate anger with sin and most often than not, when we do get angry about some things in our lives, the devil tends to press down on us with accusations of sinning because we're angry. 

The bible, however, presented that there are certain times in our lives that anger may be acceptable. When we read the book of Mark in chapter 3, there we find an account where Jesus healed a sick man's withered hand in the synagogue on a sabbath day. According to Jewish practice, it is forbidden to do pretty much anything during the Sabbath and the Pharisees were looking forward to when Jesus heals a man on a sabbath day just so they can accuse him of breaking the law.

Here's the account of that particular Sabbath:

"1And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 4And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. 5And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." (Mark 3:1-5)

Notice that the bible clearly shows the picture of Jesus looking at the Pharisees with anger that one Sabbath day. The phrase that followed that, though, shows a very substantial reason of why Jesus had anger towards them. He was grieved deep inside because of THE HARDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS! Jesus' reason to be angry at the Pharisees was because their hearts were never right with God! They were pretentious, they were prideful, they were hypocrites, they were "hard-hearted", they were aloof to the Truth in Scripture, they were "dead inside", to which Jesus even called them "Snakes, blind guides, a brood of vipers and hypocrites all doomed to damnation in hell!". Those are very angry words if you would ask me when you read what Jesus said about the Pharisees in Matthew 23. He was not sugar-coating any of the statements He directed at them. 

Now those weren't the only times we read about Jesus being angry. Jesus also went beyond words in His anger when He walked into the temple one day and saw that they have made a market out of it! 

"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." (Matthew 21:12-13)

This account in Matthew shows us how Jesus' anger resulted in overthrown tables and seats. Imagine being in the temple that day and you see the hands of the Lord Jesus that healed the sick were now flinging tables of moneychangers upside down. I'd say you have to be filled with reasonable anger in order for you to be pushed to the edge where you'll bewrecking havoc of the things around you! 

So what made Jesus THAT angry while He was there? He was angry at how hard-hearted the people were to have made the temple, which was SUPPOSED to be a house of prayer, into a semi-Black-Friday frenzy! He was angry because they no longer honored God but instead were merrily going on their own foolish ways of focusing on commercialization inside the temple!

DO THESE PICTURES OF JESUS BEING ANGRY THEN GIVE US THE LICENSE TO BE ANGRY AT SOMEONE AS WE PLEASE? Definitely, NOT! The bible warns us in Psalm 4:4 this: "In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent." This warning is even reiterated in Ephesians 4:26-27: "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil."

If we are to know exactly WHEN we are given the permission to be angry, we should only look at JESUS and nobody else. He was angry because of circumstances that do not uphold God the Father. He became angry ONLY at situations that neither GLORIFY GOD nor HONOR GOD. How are we able to know then, that when we get angry at someone or something, it is the permissible KIND that we are harboring at the moment? Let us allow Scriptures - the Word of God, to guide us in our anger...

  1. Do not be angry at someone in order to take revenge at them or to get even!  (Romans 12:19) 
  2. Being Quick-tempered is sin and is not the permissible kind of anger. Do not just be angry at petty little annoyances of things NOT GOING YOUR WAY! (Proverbs 19:11) (Proverbs 12:16)
  3. We are not to become angry and QUARREL others if we have differing opinions. (Proverbs 15:18) 
  4. Do not let your anger LINGER. (Ephesians 4:26)
  5. Do not to use OBSCENE LANGUAGE nor cursing when you're angry. (Colossians 3:8)
Understand that in Ephesians 4:31, we are to deliberately GET RID of "bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, and all malice." They are of the same family so we have to be careful when we get angry:
  1. We must not allow ourselves to feel intense anger, which is wrath.
  2. We must not have a desire to harm others or want to see others suffer, which is malice.  
  3. We must not harbor bitterness, which is usually evident as "a violent, fierce TEMPER."
  4. We must not SCREAM at each other, which is what clamour is all about.
  5. We must never slander or speak defamatory words against another, which is evil speaking. (Ephesians 4:29)
  6. As much as possible, we have to CONTROL our hearts to not continue being angry.

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)

Remember this, my friend, the only real time Christians are ever to become angry is when we see the Lord Jesus disrespected, dishonored and His commandments broken

The rest of the time, if the reason of our anger is because things didn't go OUR way,  we are all sinning  and we must repent and confess to God for such kind of anger.

Y'all be blessed now. Be ANGRY BUT DO NOT SIN....

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