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Is it really healthy to be angry and sin not? I’m starting to wonder how much damage that adage has caused over the centuries.
Have You Heard the Adage to Be Angry and Sin Not?
I’m pretty sure the elderly folk at church waved this passage in front of me during my turbulent twos (which my parents claim lasted for ten years). For most of my life, I thought ‘be angry and sin not’ meant Christians couldn’t get angry. And since I got angry a lot, I figured I wasn’t a very good Christian. During my childhood, and even my years of parenting young ones, no one had heard of emotional intelligence. We didn’t know about a lot of things back before the Information Age.
But now we know better, so doing better presents a better option. While echoes of the Bible verse still linger in my head as I feel my temper rising, a recent look at Ephesians 4:26 has made me study the passage more closely. Whoever thinks Christians can’t get angry probably hasn’t spent much time reading the Bible. After all, God created us in his image, and he gets angry a lot.
This leads us to rethink the adage or the custom of Christians not getting angry. Ok, maybe I’m the only Christian who grew up thinking anger is a bad emotion. Unfortunately, I think the devil enjoys watching us suppress our emotions (especially the ones we need to deal with in healthy ways). Listen to today’s podcast and let me know what you think!
Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive at Work and Life by Susan David, PhD.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Besser van der Kolk, M.D.
Examples of God getting angry: Exodus 4:14, Exodus 15:7, Exodus 32:10-12, and Leviticus 26.
Come Back Next Week
Join me next week as I continue this series on anger and share some guidelines for getting angry.Is it a sin for Christians to get angry? #anger #christians Click To Tweet
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Yes I agree Anita it’s what we do with our anger that is important. And yes anger is a very valid emotion.
Tea With Jennifer recently posted…Why do I feel this way?
This is funny, Anita, “During my turbulent twos (which my parents claim lasted for ten years).” I look forward to reading your article on emotional intelligence and your show notes. Thanks!
Lisa Blair recently posted…The Art of Encouragement
Such a great topic, Anita! We are taught to suppress our anger as if it is bad just feeling it. Rather than learning appropriate and healthy ways to process our feelings. I am so glad that we have so much more information now!
Anger can provide a spark, but I agree with you that it’s not the fuel our bodies were designed to run on.
Michele+Morin recently posted…Nurturing Dreams of Green with my Late Winter Seed Order
I think you are spot on!
Lauren Renee Sparks recently posted…Tropism and Worship
I definitely learned that anger was bad, and that Christian’s should not be angry, in my childhood home. Early in our marriage my husband asked if I was angry. No, I lied. He then said that it was okay to be angry. Wow, that was the first time I had heard that. What I do with my anger is under my control, but the emotion of anger is not wrong.
I’ve realized anger is like knotted yarn – and sometimes, you have to pull all the strands of anger apart to see what really is causing the emotional response. I like how you pull those threads apart to better see what is healthy and what isn’t!
Anita, we truly do have so many misconceptions about anger. I love that you’re addressing this topic. I, too, used to think it wasn’t okay to get angry. Years ago a friend helped me see the difference between situations that were “a bummer,” like when some of our items had been stolen from the truck moving our household goods from one state to another, and a time to be angry, as when a girl was sexually abused. God doesn’t look down on the anger, but He wants us to handle it in a way that honors Him. SO much easier said than done.
In my Matthew bible study, we just finished reading about Jesus’ righteous anger. It is that self-righteous anger that can get us in trouble ! Yes, definitely anger is part of our make-up and He knows we can deal with anger His way (when we don’t let satan get a foot hold).
Anita, I like the lesson you drew from the Amplified version. Don’t do anything in your anger (sin) that would cause you shame. God created us to be emotional beings. Emotions are great messengers to alert us something is going on, but they are terrible managers.
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If we aren’t careful, anger can overshadow everything else in an instant. Prayer, counting to ten & a few deep breaths can help immensely.
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