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Can I Be Angry and Not Sin?

Anger is something that we experience from time to time. Some people find it hard to manage their anger. Anger is not a sin in itself, but mismanaged anger can be a problem. The effects of anger can be very destructive if not adequately addressed. So the question becomes, how can one be angry and not cross over into sin?

Jesus Himself got mad during his time when he saw that people made the house of God a marketplace rather than a house of prayer (Matthew 21:12-13). Let us learn from the experience of Jesus:

1. Jesus' motivation was to teach a lesson.

When Jesus reached the temple and saw the house of worship had turned into a marketplace, He got angry. He made an important point and reminder of the real and primary purpose of the temple (Matthew 21:13).

Sometimes we cannot help but feel angry. But how we respond when we are mad is what counts. Jesus’s anger arose because of the wrong attitudes displayed in front of Him. It's important that His anger did not bring harm to anyone. It did, however, make an impact and drive a lesson to those looking on. The episode shows us how anger arising from injustice is channeled for a useful purpose.

2. Jesus did not carry the hatred inside of Him throughout His ministry.

Despite His anger, Jesus managed to leave an essential lesson to those in the temple. He continued with His ministry - serving the people and performing His ministry without hanging onto what happened when He visited the temple.

The lesson here is that in our anger, let us learn not to hold a grudge and forgive as quickly as we can.

Remember, we reap what we sow.

It is also worth keeping this verse in mind when anger creeps in:

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.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger. (Ephesians 4:26-31)

Anger is not always easy to deal with it. It is a part of life that, when controlled by the Holy Spirit, can serve to be our friend, rather than our enemy. If you or someone you know is struggling with anger, remember Christ Himself is willing to help every time we call unto Him.

Join us for worship, prayer, and reflection in Union Church of Manila, a Christian church in Makati. Visit www.unionchurch.ph and learn more about its ministries and growing community.