Recently, I started a podcast with several friends called The Angry Christian Podcast, which explores the topic of anger as it relates to being a Christian. We talk through various topics and questions and scriptures trying to explore and understand better the concept of anger in the life of Christians.
Our first episode explored the topic of being displaced as we talked through the story of one of our hosts, Brian Baldwin, and his being displaced years ago by Hurricane Katrina. [listen HERE]
Our second episode explored the topic of what the place of anger really is. [listen HERE]
In an effort to promote our content and spark discussion on social media, I posted on Reddit. Posting on Reddit is one of those things you do with great caution because, even if you are posting to Christian subreddits, you stand the chance of opening up a massive can you may or may not want to open.
Past posts have resulted in quite a variety of responses. In this particular case, the discussion has been relatively tame and pleasant, however, a recurring question was posed and that is “Is being angry a sin?”
This got me thinking…is being angry really a sin?
After all, at its core anger is merely an emotion that we feel. Many times we confuse other emotions as being anger, but generally we know when we’re angry. It’s also an emotion that God Himself felt. We see countless examples throughout the Old Testament of God’s anger [e.g. 2 Kings 17:18 and Isaiah 48:9]. If we are indeed created in the image of God as we are told in Genesis 1, then I think the conclusion that we an rightly come to is that anger was part of that which was built into us.
Which brings us back to the question…is feeling angry a sin?
Through much discussion and study, the conclusion I have come to is that feeling angry is not a sin. Harboring anger, and acting inappropriately out of anger, however, absolutely is a sin.
I think the best approach is to let the Bible speak for itself as the Bible is rife with warnings about harboring anger and acting out of anger:
- Proverbs 30:33 ~ “For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.”
- James 1:19-20 ~ “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
- Psalm 37:8 ~ “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.”
- Proverbs 14:29 ~ “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”
- Ecclesiastes 7:9 ~ “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.”
- Ephesians 4:31 ~ “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
- Proverbs 15:18 ~ “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”
- Proverbs 16:32 ~ “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
The verses above are just a sampling of what the Bible has to say about and warn about when it comes to our anger.
Paul, in Ephesians 4:26-27, says that it’s okay to be angry but to not let it cause us to sin and not to let the sun go down on our anger (i.e. don’t harbor anger). This is a hard task, no doubt, which is why I tend to lean toward the idea of erring on the side of avoiding anger as much as possible than trying to give allowance for our anger and potentially open doors for it to become destructive. Trust me, I’ve lived that life, and I don’t want to go back.
Tune in to Episode 2 of our podcast to hear our thoughts on this topic. And please be sure to like, subscribe, follow, share, and review if you like the content that we are bringing to you every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month!