In Your Anger, Do Not Sin

obscenities road sign

Last year I saw an interesting road sign at Virginia Beach. I knew I’d use it in a blog post at some point. Well, today is the day. It’s an appropriate visual for what I experienced this afternoon.

After working on the computer for a few hours this morning, I decided to take a break. I went rollerblading. As I started out, I prayed, “Lord, you often speak to me when I’m exercising, so I’m listening.”

Boy, did I get an earful!

At about the four-mile mark, I was passed by a dark gray Acura. The man who was driving yelled, “Are you blankety-blank kidding me?! Get on the blankety-blank sidewalk!”

At first, I was offended. The street was very wide and even had a passing lane. I was practically hugging the shoulder on the right side of the road, so the car had plenty of room.

The man’s nasty words stung, but only for a few seconds. Then I started thinking, What kind of pain does he have in his heart? What’s going on in his life that caused him to scream obscenities like that?

Then it hit me. I’ve done the same thing. I’ve spoken harsh words. I’ve raised my voice for no good reason. I’ve lost my temper with strangers. And family. And friends.

I can’t judge that guy because I am that guy. And, if you’re completely honest with yourself, so are you.

Anger isn’t wrong. It’s a normal, God-given emotion. The Bible says, “In your anger do not sin” (Eph. 4:26). How you handle feelings of irritation can be destructive, though. If you spew forth venomous words when you’re upset, that is sin. When the guy in the car screamed at me, he was essentially saying, “You’re in MY way. I’m more important than you are, and I’m going to let you know it!”

Human beings are naturally self-centered. We tend to think of ourselves first in most situations, and when someone threatens our comfort, we tend to get a little miffed. Sometimes a lot miffed. 

The only way to respond rightly when angry is to stop thinking about yourself. Turn to God in those heated moments, and rely on His power. He will give you strength to resist the temptation to lash out and teach you to develop self-control. 

Think about how you’ve spoken today. Have your words been life giving? Or have they caused deep wounds in the people around you?

Choose to follow God’s standard for your conversations: “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Eph. 4:29 NLT).

You can be angry and not sin. With God’s help, you can.

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Comments

  1. Christine says:

    so true to learn that it is no sin to be angry,but the way of how you behave of what makes, that you do sin

  2. Oh well! I’ll agree with you that anger is not sin. Anger seems to me like a blessing. Blessing in the sense that one can dislike wrongdoing and be bold enough to react by becoming angry at what is wrong. We can’t tolerate any negative attitude or behavior by smiling always and not expressing that you’re never pleased with such actions. No wonder Jesus acted when the temple was no longer treated as the house of prayer. Just don’t linger on anger. God bless.

  3. Thank you for your transparency and words of encouragement.