Summary: How to be Angry and not Sin
Sermon: Good and Angry Ephesians 4:26-32 September 30, 2007
FROM Sermon Central – “Being God and Angry” The answer is found in His focus. Jesus never allowed His emotions or pain to take His focus off of God and onto himself. Jesus was able to keep God as His first priority even when He was angry.
Our problem is we seldom become angry for the right reasons or motives. Human anger tends to be self-motivated rather than God-motivated. We become angry when someone does something that hurts us or hurts someone we love. Human anger is generally an offensive weapon we use to defend our pride.
Aristotle said it this way, “Anybody can become angry… But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - this is not within everybody’s power….”
In other words anger is a normal emotion, but we must be very careful how we express it
God designed anger to be a flashing light yellow light – to say to us - proceed with caution, be aware, know that trouble is near. So when the light comes on – don’t ignore it. Don’t think it will just go away.
Anger is a normal emotion. (26)
26 "In your anger do not sin": (NIV)
26 Be angry BUT do not sin; (RSV)
26 Be ye angry, AND sin not: (KJV)
The point is it is possible to be angry and not sin. Anger in and of itself is not bad, God created anger for a good purpose – with good intentions.
When Jesus saw what the religious leaders had done to corrupt the temple, Jesus became angry. His anger was not directed at hurting people but at the wrong things they had done in God’s name. Jesus was angry because the people had violated God and His anger was an expression of God’s anger. Jesus demonstrates that it is possible to be angry and not sin. There is such a thing as good anger or Godly anger.
As a result, Anger is like a fire. If the fire is controlled, it can be helpful and productive but if the fire gets out of control it can be harmful and deadly. Anger is the same way!
Anger must be RESOLVED. (End, 26)
26 “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”
Anger can be a healthy emotion but it is not designed to be a permanent emotion.
When Jesus became angry in the temple and turned over the tables of the money changers, He did not remain angry. After the event He didn’t dwell on what happened, He didn’t allow His anger with the people to impact His love for people.
Look at how Matthew records the events in chapter 21,
“12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 "It is written," he said to them, "’My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ’den of robbers.’" 14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.”
don’t know about you but when I get angry I have a hard time letting go. When I get angry my anger generally gets the best of me, it can ruin an entire day. Anger can cause me to become a person I don’t want to be, it can cause me to say things I didn’t want to say.
I read the results of a study that demonstrates the effects of anger. The researchers found that anger causes the average female’s blood pressure to rise 6 points and the average male’s blood pressure to rise 14 points. It also indicated that unresolved anger is the number one cause for psychological depression. The point is, when we get angry, anger takes control.
But when Jesus became angry He remained the same person, He did not loose control. His anger did not have a negative impact on His character or cause Him to say the wrong things. He went from anger to mercy in the same day. His anger was motivated by His love for people and never became a vehicle for harboring resentment.
Unresolved anger is an open INVITATION for evil. (27-28)
27 “and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”
When anger gets a foothold in your life, you are more susceptible to doing things you would not normally do – even stealing. Paul is addressing a real problem that was happening in his churches. Because the people were angry at each other they stopped caring and started stealing. Anger caused them to loose their concern for the community and start focusing instead on themselves.