Be ye angry…and sin not
That is the balance. Being angry and not sinning.
The Bible teaches me to be slow in anger because God is also slow to anger.
Nehemiah 9:17, “but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.”
Psalm 103:8, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.’
Joel 2:13, “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
.Jonah 4:2, “And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.”
Nahum 1:3, “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”
Psalm 145:8, “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”
Proverbs 15:18, “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.”
Proverbs 16:32, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”
When I am angry I may feel that way because someone has done something to hurt my feelings. I still have a choice on how I want to handle those feelings of anger. Of course, my first response would be to lash back at them and not let them get away with treating me in a wrong way. But I have learned that it really is better to be angry and sin not. When I respond quickly, I am trying to make myself feel better. My experience has been that when I stop and put some time between my response and the other person’s response then I have a better grip on what I need to do about the situation. Sometimes I have to admit that the best response is no response. That is a tough call to make.
I have learned where there is a lot anger there needs to be a lot of forgiveness. Because of the stress I have been under, I have been extremely sensitive with others. I could be misunderstanding the situation; however, even when I am wronged by another I still need to forgive. I will not carry around anger for people. I do not want that baggage hanging on me. Forgiveness lightens my load and I am more responsive to others. I can serve the Lord better. It keeps me slow to anger because there is no build-up of anger which means there is no explosion of anger on the next person.
Another reason I have to deal with anger is that I make a stand on issues that are very important to me and may not be important to others. So I can see how that may offend others. I will not apologize for that but I can be gracious about it. That stand may mean that they choose to not associate with me. Again I have the choice to be angry or I can forgive them and move on. That is not the easy road but I believe it pleases my heavenly Father when I choose forgiveness.
The Bible says to forgive other as I have been forgiven. (Eph. 4:32) God has laid out the perfect plan and Christ has set the best example. Who am I to hold a grudge? I am thankful for God’s mercies every day. I am so thankful for his forgiveness and the ultimate price Christ has paid for that forgiveness.
I just refuse to hold on to anger. I want to take the hard road. I want God to use me in serving others. It is the choice I have made.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: