Merely experiencing anger is not sinful. It is a part of our humanity and reflects the nature of God. Paul states this clearly: “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). The challenge is not “Don’t get angry,” rather, the challenge is, “Do not sin when you are angry.”

Likewise, rebuke is not necessarily verbal abuse. Rebuke is laying a matter before a brother or sister whom you perceive to have wronged you. Such a rebuke needs to be done kindly and firmly, recognizing that there is always a possibility that we have misunderstood the brother’s words or actions.

“Jesus turned and looked at his disciples.” Then “he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men’” (Mark 8:33). Jesus knew that Peter misunderstood reality, that he was speaking the words of Satan. Peter was wrong and Jesus clearly confronted him with his wrong.

On another occasion, Jesus rebuked James and John for their hostile attitude toward the unbelieving Samaritans. They suggested, “‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’ But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village” (Luke 9:54-56). Clearly, their attitude was wrong and Jesus brought the matter to their attention.

Scripture also warns us to never internalize anger. “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Clearly, Paul instructs us that we are to process anger quickly not allowing it to linger inside beyond sunset.

Experiencing anger is not a sin. Learning how not to sin when we are angry is one of our greatest challenges; however, holding anger inside by denying, withdrawing, and brooding is not the Christian response to anger either. In fact, to do so is to violate the clear teachings of Scripture. Therefore, we must recognize anger as a God-given emotion and process it in a God-ordained manner.

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