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Is it a sin to be angry?

It was like popcorn. One kernel, then another, then more. After the first person spoke up, it seemed to encourage honesty on the part of others. It obviously had not been a good day for the members of the group.

Is it a sin to be angry?

The deepest fires that day had to do with mothers, mixed families, and children. If you want heat, mess with a momma and her children. That would seem to be justifiable anger, but justifiable does not mean healthy!

“Justifiable” anger can be some of the hottest and most destructive anger around. People lash out in sick ways when they feel like they have a “cause” that justifies their behavior. The self-justification causes them to think that doing sick things is ok—even admirable. Sick anger is sick. Period. No matter how “right” the cause may be. 

“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil." - Ephesians 4:26–27 (NKJV)


So, is it a sin to be angry?

Anger is not wrong. When in a good place, anger is a fire within that motivates a person to do something or say something. When done right, it transfers positive values to a person or situation. Healthy anger helps children figure out the difference between right and wrong. Unhealthy anger destroys their sense of worth. The difference in outcomes between healthy anger and unhealthy anger is huge.


For a person to walk in healthy anger, the first step is complete surrender to God. Just as fire is dangerous when it gets beyond the fireplace, anger is destructive when it steps outside of God’s boundaries.


Sometimes, a fight is not worth fighting. Sometimes, it is.

Proverbs 25:26 says, “A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well” (NKJV). Often, it is unhealthy to remain silent. It promotes wickedness. It makes us “polluted.” We feel dirty and begin our journey toward compromise. Other times, being drawn into a fight makes us just as sick as the one we are fighting. Do you know the difference? 


Healthy anger passionately conveys godly values without threatening or destroying the other person. Children need us to speak with a strong conviction about things like lying or stealing. Without a more intense message on values from someone they respect, the only risk of wrongdoing is being caught doing it. When respect is present, healthy anger can instill godly values.


When there is no respect, only force will work. Even so, intimidation will only work for a season. The other person will only do what he or she is “forced” to do—generally harboring resentment. A person is forced to comply on the outside will inwardly rebel at the value being “forced” on him. The long term response of the person will generally be to “hate” the direction that the anger was calling for.

Moreover, if we use anger as a tool of intimidation to try to force the other person to change, we are lying to ourselves. If we truly had the ability to force the other person to change, we would simply speak. But, if we have to ratchet up the volume or use intimidation language, we are fooling ourselves and setting ourselves up.


When we dump anger on people, it feels effective because it generally creates a short term response. That immediate response is a lie that feeds our ego, giving the illusion of power, and this seeming success keeps us repeating a sick behavior.

Is it a sin to be angry?


Until anger is put through God’s filter, it will feed on itself. That filter starts with a simple question: “What is God saying here?” or “What is God doing here?” If your anger is sick, shut it down until you can clearly see what God is saying or doing in the situation.

We must have our own hearts right before bringing any correction. Quality relationship and waiting before God are the most powerful tools. We need to be certain that we are in a place where we care most about the things of God and the best interests of everyone involved. When others sense that our motives are good (most of the time!), it generates trust. Where there is trust, good things can happen. 

Do you communicate and motivate? Or do you intimidate?   When we submit to our anger impulses, it leads to destruction. When we go with God, good things happen. Go with God!

Ready to be free of anger?

Heart Change U offers has a whole toolkit to encourage and support you in the walk toward Heart Change. Check it out:


HeartChangeU tools for Small Groups & Church Leaders

Heart Change U is an online training platform for Christian counselors, church elders, pastors, and those who seek to help influence others in healing and growing in His image. Developed through more than 15 years of helping addicts and alcoholics heal at a spiritual level from the wounds that cause their addictions, these proven tools and approaches are intended to equip you to walk with others through the Heart Change process in order to become the men and women of God He is calling them to be.


The Omega Project: Faith Based Residential Recovery Program

The Omega Project Christian addiction recovery program offers a community of discipleship homes where assistance is always available to help fight through the challenges of dysfunction so that men and women may find and be restored to their created purpose.

If you or someone you love is caught in the stronghold of addiction, there is hope in Christ! Reach out to The Omega Project.


Bring Heart Change to Your Church or Community




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