Mark 3:5 And when He had looked around at them (the Pharisees) with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
Psalm 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,…
John 2:16-17 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” (Psalm 69:9)
When I was little I loved the song I’m a Little Teapot. You know the words: “I’m a little teapot short and stout; here is my handle, here is my spout. When you heat me up hear me shout, tip me over and pour me out!” Well, sometimes we getted heated up and we shout and pour out our hot wrath! Jesus was “eaten up” with anger and shouted! Are you surprised by this description of Jesus? Yea, me too! (This digging deep is revealing how much I have missed!)
As children we learn the story of Jesus driving the merchants from the temple and how He did so with “zeal.” I, however, have not ever noticed he got angry on more than ONE occasion! But, alas, He was tempted like as we are in this area too! Hallelujah! He gets my frustration. The difference is I tend to sin when I am angry and Jesus did not. My mouth overloads my face, I throw things, I make poor decisions, and I hurt others.
So, there is a lesson here. Our God says anger can be RIGHTEOUS! This anger is rooted in the “perversion of God’s goodness”. God is S-L-O-W to anger. (James 1:19) The Lord’s anger is proper. According to gotquestions.org Jesus anger was proper in its motivation, focus, supplement, control, duration, and result. Righteous anger is the anger of God. (Psalm 7:11) Our anger (human) is rooted in our selfishness, pride, and lusts. The Lord’s anger is based on GRIEF! Read Mark 3:5 slowly. It is the hardness of our hearts causing the grief leading to the frustration He felt.
Even Jesus creating a whip and driving out the merchants by slinging the whip and overturning tables filled with money from the sale of “sacrifices” was an “anger pure and justified because the root concern was for God’s holiness and worship.” His anger was supplemented by a whip and indignation. Anger is a God-given emotion! It is how we use our anger which creates the problems we face from our anger. My oldest beauty says, “Sometimes you just gotta tip a few tables to get your point across!”
When my youngest chick was in school, a teacher made the grave mistake of telling her she was “stupid.” This mama hen came unglued, but I did nothing for which I was later ashamed of or regretted. I feel the same way today I did then. This was righteous anger. It was based on the attack on the “image of God” in a child and I was kind but firm and refused to back down on how the school would handle the situation. The result of my anger was a change in how a student was spoken too and I for once in my life exhibited control, focus, and motivation. My anger rose out of love and concern for a child. It was righteous!
We all are tempted by anger. Not allowing the “sun to go down on our wrath,” (Ephesians 4:26) prevents a root of bitterness from taking hold (Hebrews 12:15) and a grudge from dividing our relationships. As much as is within us we are to live in harmony with others. (Romans 12:18)
This is how we limit our anger in duration. Jesus said to not be angry without a cause (Matthew 3:22) and to be reconciled to our fellow man quickly (Matthew 3:24) and before offering sacrifices to God to prevent the enemy using our anger against us.
So, it really is possible to “be angry and sin not.” Anger has gotten a bad rap because we are inappropriate in our expressions of anger more often than not. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us a “gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Lord, Father in Heaven,
May we come to understand anger is not evil. It is how we express our anger that can be evil if our motives are selfish, prideful, or based on our own lust. May we come to evaluate the anger of others and may we not carry our own anger past this day. May we like Jesus be forgiving and may our anger be based on grief we feel, love for another, and concern for the spiritual condition of another’s heart! Forgive us where we have failed and reveal to us our unforgiven “debts” that we may be forgiven. Thank you, Father, for Jesus perfect example of justified anger.
In Jesus holy name we pray.
https://youtu.be/P5AkNqLuVgY Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath
Treading in a tempest,
Some additional scriptures to meditate on if anger is a struggle in your life. You are not alone!