Don't Be An Angry Bird (Part 3)
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Let us read again verse 26: “Be angry, and do not sin”. The commands “Be angry” and “do not sin” are both in the present tense. That means anger would always be a part of our lives. There would always be something that would cause us to be angry. It will be a constant battle. However, we should continuously make sure that we would not sin in our anger. Also, the command “Be angry” is in the passive voice while “do not sin” is in the active voice. Passive means you receive the action while active means you do the action. So, anger is a reaction while keeping from sin is the right response.
We cannot help but feel angry but what we do with our anger is our responsibility. Anger can become sin when we express it in a way that is destructive. One man tried to justify his angry outbursts to a pastor. He said, “There’s nothing wrong with losing my temper. I blow up, and then it’s all over.” The pastor wisely replied, “So does a shotgun. It blows up and it’s all over. But look at the damage it leaves behind!” That is why we must GET RID of anger’s sinful expressions.
Let’s jump to Ephesians 4:31. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” In his “The Bible Exposition Commentary,” Warren Wiersbe explained, “Bitterness leads to wrath [that is, rage], which is the explosion on the outside of the feelings on the inside. Wrath and anger often lead to brawling or blasphemy (evil speaking [or slander]). The first is fighting with fists, the second is fighting with words.”
Instead of expressing anger in a sinful way, we must EXPRESS it appropriately. Look at verse 29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” The word “unwholesome” means “corrupt or foul and was used of rotten fruit, vegetables, and other spoiled food.” We usually define “unwholesome talk” to bad words such as swearing or cursing. Now we may not say bad words. But “unwholesome talk” is not limited to bad words. Note the conjunction “but”. That provides a strong contrast. That means you may not be saying bad words. But if it is not helpful, if it did not build others up, if it is not according to their needs, if those who heard it did not benefit from it, then it is still unwholesome talk.