Moralizing Anger As Always Sin

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Be angry, and do not sin.

-Psalm 4:4a & Ephesians 4:26a, NKJV

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

-Ephesians 4:31, NKJV

I purposefully placed these two verses together to highlight the confusion within evangelical Christianity as far as it comes to the emotion of anger. Too often, verse thirty-one is followed while the command in verse twenty-six, which is quoting a Psalm, is ignored.

“Be angry” is a command. God is telling us in two places in the Bible to experience this emotion. It must not be a sin to experience anger since God is commanding us to do so.

Plus, why add the qualifier “and do not sin” if being angry is already sin?!

Anger is the faithful spouse’s friend during the time of infidelity discovery and exiting from a relationship with a remorseless cheater. The anger says that the faithful spouse did not deserve to be cheated on and lied to. That is truth. Any other reaction to such a situation–e.g. quiet acquiescence or depression–suggests the faithful spouse is believing a lie–namely, that they are to blame for their own victimization.

I do not recommend believing or accepting lies.

My rigid religious ex-in-laws were very anger-negative. They would moralize anger as always wrong and passed such a moralization onto their child. All of this was difficult and confusing to me at the time as I needed the anger to reset violated boundaries but was being told I was sinful to feel such anger.

It not just simply the truth that adultery victims “have a right” to be angry…God commands it!

Yes, it is important that we do not sin in our anger. However, refusing to obey God’s command to be angry is also a sin. Think about that one the next time a moralizing Christian labels anger as sin:

Refusing to obey God’s command to “Be angry” is also a sin.

Anger is not the problem. What called forth the anger is. God is not afraid of His children being angry. He wants us to feel such an emotion. God simply does not want us to misuse the emotion to wrongfully harm others.

1 thought on “Moralizing Anger As Always Sin”

  1. Telling the abused that they are sinning for feeling angry falls into the same category as telling a faithful spouse that they are sinning if they want to leave their soul rapest! It’s blameshifting and gaslighting — drawing the attention and responsibility away from the cause of both. The abuser is now viewed as the victim of an angry, bitter and unforgiving spouse!

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