Be Ye Angry and Sin Not (Eph 4:26-27)
One characteristic of a “new” man (a believer) is to have righteous anger without sinning. The Bible records times when God was angry, eg: God waxed hot against the Israelites for building the golden calf and worshipping it (Exod 32). Thus when God made us in His image, He gave us the emotion anger as well.
Good anger is encouraged. Moses, the meekest man on earth, also waxed hot when he saw the calf and the people dancing (Exod 32:19). “Be ye angry” is a command. We ought to be angry when God’s name is tarnished or when the truth is compromised. But, too often, we allow relationships or respect of persons to dominate and control us such that we are not angry when we ought to be, thereby we tolerate sin. How much we love God is measured by how angry we get when His name, word or work is questioned. As a new man in Christ, we must learn to have the right kind of anger, according to the Scriptures. Righteous anger is also seen in Christ when He drove the animals and the money changers out of the temple (John 2:13-16) for the shepherds and money changers had taken advantage of the people’s need for clean animals and shekels and gained much from such trading. When false prophets and false teachers used religion to make money, making merchandise of the people, they were causing people to despise Christ who is the only Saviour of the world! We ought to be angry with them.
Good anger is encouraged but it must be controlled. “Sin not” means to stop sinning. When a husband commits adultery, the wife should be angry, but she cannot kill him. We have to control the emotion of anger immediately – “let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Eph 4:26), and not allow it to lead us into sin. We must pray so that we can then act rightly. Otherwise, the devil will have the opportunity to abuse our righteous anger, leading us into sin. And the next time this righteous anger arises, we will not dare to do the right thing, for fear of sinning again. And the devil wins again.
Was Moses right to wax hot (Exod 32:19-28)? 3,000 died that day! His anger was right and his actions correct. Calm, collected, immediate. Do not give space to the devil to take advantage. If we do not control our righteous anger, we become the devil’s best weapons to bring shame to the name of Christ. When angry, calm down before we act. If we sin, repent immediately. Do not delay. Pride must not stand in the way for us to salvage Christ’s image. Our image does not matter.
Avoid bad anger by all means. But when we see unrighteousness, we must be angry. But control it else the devil will abuse it.