Don't Be An Angry Bird (Part 1)

It seems everybody is becoming an angry bird. Remember those famous personalities who slugged it out in our airport?

Image source: Philippine News
Someone wrote, “Of all the sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last bite both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.” That’s why dealing with anger is crucial in conflict resolution. It sticks out in almost every conflict.

Ephesians 4:26-27 command us: “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (NIV) Look at the words: “In your anger do not sin”. In the Greek, literally it reads, “Be angry and do not sin.” Note that these are not just one but two commands. We are not only prohibited from sinning. We are actually commanded to be angry. Not to be angry is disobedience. You want to obey the Lord? Be angry!

Now, before we all become hulks, let me remind you that this verse does not give us the license to be angry all the time. There is a right kind and a wrong kind of anger. James 1:19-20 described the wrong kind. “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

The wrong kind of anger is the “momentary outward, boiling-over rage or inward, seething resentment” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Ephesians). God does not command such anger. Our Lord Jesus displayed the right kind of anger when He cleansed the temple by driving away the merchants and moneychangers out of it because they have desecrated the house of the Lord. The right kind of anger is what we call “righteous indignation” or “a deep-seated, determined and settled conviction.” (Ibid) 

Someone said, “A person who is angry on the right grounds, against the right persons, in the right manner, at the right moment, and for the right length of time deserves great praise.”  This is the anger that God commands.

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