Getting Angry Is Not A Sin, Living In Anger Is

by Yvonne Chase on May 2, 2022

Once upon a time, I was walking down the hallway on the way to my bedroom when I saw the home attendant and my father’s daughter struggling to get him into his wheelchair. Daddy, do you want me to help you, I asked. He said yes. I stood in front of him and told him to put all of his weight on me as I held his waist. As he pressed both of his hands into my shoulder, I told him to take his time and go as slow as he needed to. All was going well until the home attendant forcefully shoved him into the chair. To say that made me angry is an understatement.

Surprisingly, I did not go off on her in anger. Instead, I looked her in the face and calmly asked, why did you push him? Is that how you want to be treated when you get old? Then I went into my room and slammed the door. A few minutes later once they got my father into bed, she was banging on my bedroom door screaming loudly at me to open it. Where were Ashton Kutcher and his camera crew? I thought I was being punked. Surely this is not real—it can’t be real, yet it was. I sat at my desk calm as a cucumber waiting for her to stop.

Had I opened the door, there would have been an altercation that would lead her to call the police, press charges against me and I would have been arrested. But God! Not only was I angry at her actions but I was also angry that the person she reported to allowed it to happen. Once she left, I called the agency and told them she no longer works at this residence. I also let them know that if she dared to show up the next day, the police would meet her at the gate. That day was her last day.

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Yesterday I listened to a message by Pastor Robert Madu about anger. Robert asked, “Have you ever got in trouble or got frustrated or agitated and angry? Not over what happened in your life but over what you thought was going to happen? My answer is yes. What is your answer? Some of the examples he gave were, “I thought you were coming to help me, but you were coming to hurt me. I thought I was getting a raise, but you are firing me. I thought you were about to propose…wait a minute, you’re breaking up with me? What happens makes us angry because we had a different thought about how our circumstances would unfold.” A salient point I took away from his sermon is:

Anger has a proper place. If you do not ever get angry about anything then you do not love anything. If you want to check what you really love, watch what you get angry about. Whatever you get angry about is a sign of the thing you really love. We should be angry about people that are abused and marginalized. Our anger moves us to be a light in the midst of darkness. Anger says, I am going to do something about it. I am going to make a change in the earth. God calls us to bring the Kingdom of Heaven into the earth and affect every sphere we step into. Let your anger push you to do something.  

Pastor Robert Madu
angry

What makes you angry? Lies make me angry to my core because I am a lover of truth. Lying on me or about me makes my nose flair and my eyebrows furrow. When you are the family scapegoat in a narcissistic family system like I was and you experience narcissistic abuse, lies are perpetrated to encourage the family to side against you. Siblings, extended family, and parents will side against you even when they know the truth. By manipulating those closest to you to turn against you, they accomplish their ultimate goal which is to isolate you from those you love and those that love you.

Your abuser would like you to believe getting angry is wrong. They use your anger against you because they want you to be seen as the perpetrator and them as the poor victim. It is a vicious cycle! Thank God for Ephesians 4:26 which says, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Another translation says, “Be angry and sin not.” Guess what? You can be angry. I can get angry. Being angry or getting angry is not the issue. It is what we do with our anger and how we express it that matters most. Anger is an emotion that shows you what you are passionate about, where your boundaries are, and what you believe needs to change in the world.

Even though I would have been justified in opening my bedroom door to go off on the home attendant and give her a piece of my mind, I am sure I would have sinned because of the high level of provocation. I am glad I did not walk into the trap. Instead, my angry feelings led me to do something about an unjust situation. Dennis Tirch, Ph.D. says, “Feeling threat emotions like anxiety and anger are a natural part of life. You evolved to defend yourself and others against danger.”

Something to think about…

What say you? How do you respond to anger? What makes you angry? Share your thoughts on anger. 

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Joanne Viola May 2, 2022

Yvonne, I agree- getting angry is not a sin. The emotion should cause us to look at the action which brought on the anger. Then we need to assess why it made us angry and what are we to do. Your anger caused you to defend your father who could not defend himself nor keep himself safe. Anger, rightly postured, can move us to make beneficial choices for ourselves and others.
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Yvonne Chase May 4, 2022

@Joanne

I love this: Anger rightly postured can move us to make beneficial choices for ourselves and others. It was the anger of the entire world that held Derek Chauvin accountable for the murder of George Floyd. Anger is a necessary emotion.
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Valeria May 2, 2022

I agree … and I have said for decades “getting anger is not a sin – how you handle that angering situation COULD become sin if not dealt with properly.”

Anger is one of the emotions God gave us when He created us: we are created in the image of God – and God got angry at times; so did Jesus. The way They handle angering situations, is our examples.

Yvonne Chase May 4, 2022

@Valeria,

Indeed. Like all of our other emotions, anger is God-given. Emotions are meant to be expressed. How we express it is where we need to focus.
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April May 3, 2022

So true. Right on. God knows I need all the help on this one. But it’s not the anger that is the problem, like you said, it’s learning what to do with the anger.
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Yvonne Chase May 4, 2022

@April,

So many Christians make other Christians wrong for expressing the emotion of anger. It is a form of bullying. Jesus felt anger and he expressed it by flipping tables and kicking people out. Then he proclaimed, my house shall be called a house of prayer.
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Anita Ojeda May 4, 2022

Anger is an emotion, and emotions are. They are natural and God-given (as in he created us to have emotions). It’s what we do with them that matters. We can acknowledge them (‘I feel angry right now and need time for the emotion to pass.’) which is healthy. Or we can repress them (‘I’m not angry.’) which is unhealthy. I’m sorry you had to grow up n such a difficult situation. Through God’s grace and leading, it sounds like you’re healing from the experience!

Yvonne Chase May 4, 2022

@Anita,

In his sermon, Robert talked about “Stuffers” who repress their anger and act like everything is fine and that is definitely not healthy. He said people who erupt are actually more healthy than stuffers because they are getting the anger out of their system.

Trinitee 5:7 sings a song called God’s grace. It’s by God’s grace, all things through Christ Jesus, no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Weapons formed but they did not prosper. I am healing by God’s grace.
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Donna May 4, 2022

Thank you, Yvonne, for this excellent exposition on why anger is not sinful. I agree fully with Pastor Robert Madu, if you never get angry, you must not love anything. When we have the self possession to hold that powerful emotion in a righteous response we are not acting in a sinful way.
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Yvonne Chase May 18, 2022

@Donna,

Self-possession to hold the powerful emotion of anger in place is key otherwise we will react in a sinful way. We want to respond righteously instead. Also, sometimes we won’t respond righteously and that is okay. We are human. Acknowledging our humanity helps us to respond better the next time.
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Lois Flowers May 6, 2022

Yvonne, it definitely makes me angry to think of any kind of health-care worker treating a patient or nursing-home resident roughly or badly. I’m glad you were able to control your anger and instead, report the home attendant to her agency and refuse to let her come back. That took courage too … it’s so easy to take the path of least resistance, especially when possible confrontation is involved.
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Yvonne Chase May 18, 2022

@Lois,

I saw red that day. You are right, a healthcare worker ought to know better, however, she was emboldened by his daughter to act that way. I know how that story would have ended if I did not control my anger. So glad I did and then took the steps to ensure she never returned.
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Barbara Ann Mojica May 9, 2022

Much healthier to express anger than to repress it until it builds up to an explosive stage. Controlling emotions rather than allowing our emotions to control us.
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Yvonne Chase May 18, 2022

@Barbara,

I agree. In his sermon, Robert talked about two types of people and how they express anger: people who erupt and people who stuff. Eruptors express anger immediately and stuffers stuff anger while smiling and pretending to be okay.
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PaulaShort May 11, 2022

I totally agree Yvonne getting angry is not a sin, but living in anger is. This is such a poignant message, and I love your insights.
Visiting today from Let’s Have Coffee #20
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Tammy Kennington May 12, 2022

What an interesting quote by Robert Madu. I’m mulling over his explanation, and it makes a lot of sense. We know Christ was righteous in His anger. While I struggle to be righteous in mine, it is possible if I allow Him to mold emotion.

Thanks for sharing and linking up.

Blessings,
Tammy

Yvonne Chase May 18, 2022

@Tammy,

Righteous anger is a thing. Righteous anger is what held Derek Chauvin accountable for the murder of George Floyd. The entire world got angry and spoke out.

Righteous anger can affect great change. I think righteous anger is more about what angers us than how we express it. Jesus flipped the tables because of the dishonest money changers. It was the dishonesty and the lies that led to his actions because Jesus hates that behavior. He loves righteousness.
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