I’m sure we all can think of a time in our lives where we felt overwhelming anger towards a person or a situation. Whether it be an injustice or we simply got our feelings hurt, anger can pop up at anytime and if we aren’t careful…it can cause us to fall into sin.
The feeling of anger in itself isn’t a sin. Feelings of anger often occur when a boundary has been crossed in our personal lives, and this emotion alerts us to the problem, or that there is something that we need to sort through. We can even infer that Jesus got angry (note when he got mad at the money changers for buying and selling in the temple courts and turned the tables over) during his time here on earth.
However, uncontrolled anger CAN become a sin when left undealt with or handled in an un-godly way. Check out the following verse from Ephesians:
“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…get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” -Ephesians 4:26; 31
There is something about holding onto prolonged anger that can give an open door for the enemy to have what scripture calls a “foothold” in our personal lives. Undealt with anger can lead to bitterness, rage, brawling and slander, and every form of malice in our personal lives. It can also cause us to fall into sin with our words that are coming out of our mouths. In some cases, it can also be linked to unforgiveness if we do not work through it the right way.
Perhaps this is why scripture encourages us to be “slow to become angry.” Check it:
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” -James 1:19-20
We have to be purposeful when feelings of anger start to rise up in our system that we learn the power of the “pause.”
I think it is interesting that the Bible correlates those who walk in wisdom to those who are patient. Wow-powerful, right? Don’t believe me? Check out the following verse from Proverbs:
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” -Proverbs 19:11
Or how about this verse…”Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring CALM in the end.” -Proverbs 29:11
Have you been struggling with uncontrolled or prolonged anger in your personal life? Bring your heart to the Lord and ask Him to show you the root issue behind why these feelings exist. Then, pray that he would help you to have His heart toward the issue that you are facing. Never forget, my friends: It’s okay to take a step back when feelings of anger rise up, and we need to be diligent to deal with them quickly so it doesn’t lead us to and open door for providing a “foothold” for the devil to come and wreak havoc in our personal lives.