What is our mission? Our mission, given to us by Jesus, is to love. That is it. That should be our day. That should be our motivation. Love should be our passionate focus.
How can we renounce the anger in our lives? The antidote to anger is to practice love. A focus on love drives out the anger. It loses it’s grip and is driven away.
“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)
Should we renounce anger? Jesus does not exhort us 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.) The context of Ephesians 4:25-32 is exactly the opposite! Paul is saying when you feel angry, don’t act on it! Don’t hold onto anger and don’t let it motivate you because it easily leads to unwholesome talk and other sins. It gives the devil a foothold in your life. It grieves the Holy Spirit. It harms you and others.
Instead of getting angry at people Paul teaches us to, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in the Messiah God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
“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 the Messiah God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:26, 29 31-32)
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.
- Ephesians 4:31 (NASB95) — Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
- “I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” (Matthew 5:22)
- Psalm 37:8 (NASB95) — Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
- Colossians 3:8 (NASB95) — But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
- 1 Timothy 2:8 (NASB95) — Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
- 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB95) — Love does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.
- Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NASB95) — Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
- Titus 1:7 (NASB95) — For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
- James 1:19 (NASB95) — This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.