Should I renounce anger? Yes!
Jesus does not exhort me to get angry, as if anger were a good motivator or energy for positive action. (This is the kind of thing that many Psychologists and “pop psychologists” in in our culture today teach.)
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry… 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… Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:26, 29 31-32)
The context of Ephesians 4:25-32 is exactly the opposite of it is okay to get angry! Paul is saying when I feel angry, don’t act on it! Don’t hold onto anger and don’t let it motivate me because it easily leads to unwholesome talk and other sins. It gives the devil a foothold in my life. It grieves the Holy Spirit. It harms me and others.
- What is my mission? My mission, given to me by Jesus, is to love. That is it. That should be my day. That should be my motivation. Love should be my passionate focus.
- “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone…
- “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-18, 20-21)
- Instead of getting angry at people Paul teaches us to, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
An honest reading of the Bible’s wisdom on anger would never come away with this advice that anger is good! The consistent counsel in Scripture about anger is to be careful with it and to set it aside.