Be Angry, And Sin Not           

A Devotional Snapshot


by God's Little Boy
© 2014
Posted 4/26/14


"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath;" (Ephesians 4:26)


Another translation is, "When you are angry do not sin" (Amplified) - permissive imperative. A.T. Robertson maintains this is not a command to be angry. Kenneth Wuest says that it is a command to be angry continually, without sinning. This verse seems to be a New Testament reference to Psalm 4:4 which the Septuagint (an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) translates as "be angry" This is a charge that carries great responsibility, however, as anger is a passionate emotion and must be controlled. Anger is easily enough had by the heart of man, so the admonition here is more directed at controlling it. It should burn, but not break out into an uncontrollable blaze. It's expression should be short lived - "let not the sun go down upon your wrath" Anger in the human heart is as hazardous as an open flame near a hay stack. Anger in such close proximity to the sin nature within man must be carefully tended.

The anger that God permits is a proper and controlled godly anger against sin and everything that is in opposition to what God calls good. If we hate sin and evil as God does, then there will certainly be times when anger accompanies such hatred. There is a godly anger; it braided a whip and drove the money changers out of the temple, and without sin. "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me." (Psalm 69:9) As we become more like Christ, our loves and hates will, more and more, align with his. Our earthly attachments to this world system and popular culture should be broken and replaced by a God given righteous indignation against all of these things that are contrary to Christ and his kingdom. We no longer belong to the kingdom of this world, but to the kingdom of God. The cross has crucified us from this world and it's affections. God has given us a new heart and a new supernaturally imparted value system.

Ideally what should this look like? Here is an example: I start my day by awakening to thoughts about God - something that I did not do before I had become a Christian and a disciple of Christ. In the morning, I am immediately conscious of God in my life, and I begin the day in fellowship with him. At some point in the day I come into contact with some blatant display of evil or depravity within the culture and immediately, because of godly convictions, I realize a distaste for it and anger rises up inside me. I am chafed by what I hear and see, burdened, it is something ungodly that I am made to, once again, tolerate and endure. It is painful for me to witness and suffer it because I am different now. It is directly antagonistic to the purity of the divine nature that I have been made a partaker of. (2 Peter 1:4) If a person is the cause, I am angry at the nature of the offence and initially angry at the person for being a willing host, but I remember that they are lost or else blinded to their error, as I once was, so I choose to control my anger. I choose to love the sinner and hate the sin and the spirit that they are of. This may not be easy; as a mere man, I may sigh in an impatient weariness, and with Jesus say, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you?" (Luke 9:41)

I could easily loose control and take this too far and become judgemental or condemning as I am prone to do, but what makes the difference is the spirit behind my judgement. I choose to not be anti-person, but anti-evil. I must make a judgement, I have to; we make judgements all the time. We can't help but make judgements about everything that we hear and see, but it should be righteous judgement that proceeds forth from a right spirit. The nature of our judgements will be determined by the secret motives of our heart. If I have an ax to grind, then my judgements may not be right.

There are many things that we must be completely opposed to and have nothing to do with. When it comes to evil initiations from this corrupt and ungodly world system, we stand firm in our opposition to them. It is fitting to be angry and hostile to the things that are hostile to God. In one sense it is good to even mock the folly of worldliness; such thinking fortifies our convictions and keeps us on the right side of the line that separates the two kingdoms. But we do this under the control of meekness, in the Spirit. Though I myself am a sinful man, and am capable of doing the same things that are done in the world, (Romans 2:1) my new heart and new nature desires to be delivered both from doing and witnessing the unrighteous works of darkness. Concerning such things, it is good, very good that we should Be Angry, yet without sin.  







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