By Michael Cisler, North Kent Bible Church
How many times have you seen somebody angry this week? How did you know they were angry? Think about what that anger looked like. Did it come with a raised voice, furrowed eyebrows, clenched fists, an outburst of violence, foul language, excessive sarcasm, or something else? Many times we see anger displayed in other people or in ourselves in a way that is inappropriate. Sometimes we then label anger as a ‘bad’ emotion. Anger, however, is not a bad emotion simply one over which we need to exhibit self-control when we express it.
In both Psalm 4:4 and in Ephesians 4:26 we find the phrase, “In your anger do not sin”. This clearly shows we can be angry without sinning, so anger isn’t a ‘bad’ emotion. However, it is obviously an emotion, which is sometimes displayed in a sinful way. In Proverbs 29:11 it says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” If someone loses their temper and claims they couldn’t help it what they are actually communicating is that they didn’t want to control themselves.
I referenced Psalm 4:4 earlier. The whole verse says, “In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” What good advice to quietly contemplate an appropriate response in times of anger. The next time you feel yourself getting angry, take control of that emotion. Be quiet for a moment and consider what would be a beneficial way to respond to the situation. As you show control even in times when you are angry, you will show your wisdom to the world.