“Be Angry and Do Not Sin”

by Jerry Senn

“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” 
— Ephesians 4:26, 27

This well known passage makes clear that there is a proper anger — a good anger. It is quoted by Paul from Psalm 4:4, which reads: “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.”

God himself is sometimes angered and Jesus was also, when he cleansed the Temple (Mark 11:15). Anger is many times the right response in certain situations, and may be a sign of a healthy spiritual life.

But in our anger we must be very, very careful because anger often leads to sin, which will “give the devil a foothold,”—to sinful attitudes or behaviors.

Anger may be legitimate, 
Anger must have safeguards
Anger may lead to sin.

I’m certain we all have become angry for a proper reason, but then have allowed that emotion to lead to saying or doing something we later regretted. It may have caused the fracture of a relationship or to a poor influence, injuring our reputation. Out of control anger can injure anything it touches, so… 

  • Face your anger when it’s getting out of control.
  • Ask God to take away improper anger.
  • Ask for forgiveness when you’ve been offensive.
  • Forgive others who have hurt you.
  • Memorize and meditate on Scriptures that speak to your anger.

Ponder these verses:

"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools." —Ecclesiastes 7:9
"A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel." —Proverbs 15:18
"Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city." —Proverbs 16:32
"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." —Colossians 3:8