…but do not sin.
So says Paul’s advice to the church in Ephesus, he adds to this, ‘Don’t stay angry all day.’ (Ephesians 4:
That’s right, the Bible really does say we should get angry. But this instruction comes with a warning, …but do not sin and don’t stay angry all day. The fact that the warning is longer than the instruction is a sure sign that whilst anger is not the problem. What we do with our anger is a big, big problem. I have a big problem with it.
How to handle anger, that is the problem. The fact that scripture says that God gets angry helps here. If we are to become like Christ, like God, then we must learn to handle anger in a Godlike way.
I’m still looking at the book of Hebrews in the Bible. And much of Chapter 3 is going on about God being angry, quoting Psalm 95, ‘Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.’ So God has wrath, to be godlike means to have wrath.
The Blur Letter Bible says the Greek word used here is orgé. It is not the only word used for anger in the Bible. There are 3.
- Thumos: Violent anger that flares up. It is unrestrained and out of control.
- Parorgismos: Seething resentment and jealousy.
- Orgé: An anger that results from conviction about something.
The anger of God is always orgé anger. The other two are always seen as sinful. We must not do them. Ever. And if we do we need to repent. It isn’t easy, I suffer from both of them.
The type of anger we are to to do. like God’s anger, is orgé. Even then we have to be careful. We could be angry about a situation and offer an abused person sanctuary. The anger that led Wiberforce to fight politically against the slave trade. But even this anger is a strong emotion and we should be careful not to dwell on it.
The Bible says that God is slow to anger and that we should be slow to anger.
There is a lot of negative anger about in the world, even in churches. We should be on our guard.