Dealing With Anger: Is There A Christian Way?

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Answered by: Sandra, An Expert in the Christian Living Category
The Number One Lie Christians Believe About Getting Angry

As a Christian, you were probably not learning about dealing with anger at Sunday school, as the majority of Christians were led to believe that anger was a sin. We know today that Jesus was sinless, He was the perfect sacrificial lamb, yet, Jesus got angry! He took the time to make a whip out of cords (John 2:15) and drive out merchants and traders from His Father's house. It was chaos! Animals and humans alike scattered in all directions! He also turned the tables and poured out their coin purses. Jesus got angry because His Father's house was filled with the cares of the world by introducing trade and commerce to it. It was not a personal vendetta or revenge, He was fulfilling the will of His Father.

Very few Christians know this, but there are a few more instances where Jesus got angry. In one of those instances, Peter was rebuked by Jesus when he tried to stop Him from fulfilling His destiny (Mark 3). Jesus was also angered by the hardness of hearts displayed by the Pharisees. The instance where He healed the man (also in Mark 3), the Pharisees plotted against Him because He was healing on the Sabbath. The anger was directed at their spirit of religiosity.

In Matthew 23, Jesus also spoke against the Pharisees in anger, as they were more concerned with the technicalities of the law, that they have lost their compassion. Their hearts have grown hard which meant that their souls were barren. They were unable to produce good fruit. Mark 11 sees Jesus walking up to a fig tree, only to find that it is barren. Jesus cursed the fig tree and the following day the disciples were astounded at this. The fig tree represented humanity and if it does not bear any fruit, it has no place in the kingdom of God. Matthew 7:17 states that good trees bear good fruits and bad trees bear bad fruits. When Jesus called the Pharisees "empty whitewashed tombs" He realised that they could not produce any fruit at all. This was a threat to the kingdom and therefore it was better for the fig tree to be removed.


If Anger Is Not A sin, What Is The Missing Link?

In Ephesians 4:26, Paul writes that we should get angry but not sin and that we should not let the sun go down on our anger. There are two very important aspects that we need to be aware of here. Firstly, we should not sin when angry. Studies have that we are unable to perform normal cognitive functions, therefore, acting out of anger could lead to sin. Unless you have given yourself time to reflect on the situation, it is important not to react. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 states that love is not easily angered. This is something to bear in mind when confronted with a difficult situation. Paul's second statement is that we should not let the sun go down on our anger, which means that we are to resolve the matter within that day. Jesus pre-empts this scripture in Matthew 5:9 by saying "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." Dealing with anger in a peaceful manner is the overall instruction here, as God intended for all to be sons and daughters.

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