Being Good and Angry (2)
2. Anger is a Warning Light Built in by God.
Be angry and do not sin (v. 26a)
We can get into trouble when we ignore the signs of anger. When we ignore the warning lights that lead to anger we can find ourselves in a place we never intended to be.
If you drive a vehicle that was built in the last number of years, you will notice that there are warning lights for just about any conceivable issue. There are warning lights for temperature, oil pressure, seatbelts, and low fuel level. Let’s not forget the mysterious check engine light, which could mean absolutely anything. Some even have warning lights for low air pressure in your tires. If you ignore the warning lights, you do so at your own peril.
Now maybe you are better than I am when it comes to responding to warning lights, but:
How well do you respond to anger?
How well do you anticipate the things that cause anger?
How well do you keep your anger from getting out of control?
God designed anger to be like a flashing light yellow light – to say to us: “proceed with caution, be aware, know that trouble could be near.” So when the light comes on – don’t ignore it. Don’t think it will just go away.
3. Anger Must be Resolved.
do not let the sun go down on your anger. (v.26b)
Anger can be a healthy emotion but it is not designed to be a permanent emotion. When Jesus became angry in the temple and turned over the tables of the money changers, He did not remain angry. After the event He didn’t dwell on what happened, He didn’t allow His anger with the people to impact His love for people.Look at how Matthew records the events in chapter 21:
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. (Matthew 21:12-14)
Notice the words: IN THE TEMPLE. Jesus anger did not keep him from showing mercy. When your anger is God-centered rather than self-centered, you can still treat those around you as they should be treated.
I don’t know about you but when I get angry I have a hard time letting go. When I get angry my anger generally gets the best of me, it can ruin an entire day. Anger can cause me to become a person I don’t want to be; it can cause me to say things I didn’t want to say.
I read the results of a study that demonstrates the effects of anger. The researchers found that anger causes the average female’s blood pressure to rise 6 points and the average male’s blood pressure to rise 14 points. It also indicated that unresolved anger is the number one cause for psychological depression. The point is, when we get angry, anger takes control.
But when Jesus became angry He remained the same person, He did not loose control. His anger did not have a negative impact on His character or cause Him to say the wrong things. He went from anger to mercy in the same day. His anger was motivated by His love for people and never became a vehicle for harboring resentment. Anger must be resolved.