From time to time I am struck with the realization that there are certain sins that just don’t bother me that much. As I was reading Kevin DeYoung’s, The Good News We Almost Forgot, I was reminded that one of these sins is anger. Listen to his insightful comments:
Anger is one of those respectable sins, It doesn’t seem like a big deal. Granted, not all anger is sin (think Jesus in the temple). It is possible to be angry and sin not (Eph. 4:26). But, honestly, that doesn’t describe most of our anger. Sinful anger is anger directed at the wrong person, motivated by the wrong reasons, or out of proportion to the offense. Sadly, this is a truer description of our anger. We take our rage out on other people, get upset for less than noble purposes, and blow up over minor hurts and slight inconveniences. We get grumpy with checkout clerks, snap at tech support over the phone, hold grudges against our spouse, spew venom when sports don’t go our way, wish the worst on our enemies, and cherish thoughts of revenge toward those who hurt us.
We have an anger problem. And we don’t just get frustrated or get our buttons pushed; people don’t make us angry or make us lose our cool. We are angry. Anger, whatever else may stir it up, comes from an angry heart. And this is no small problem… I’m all for passion and righteous indignation. I want people who hate injustice and despise falsehood. But I don’t want a church full of mean, angry people. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. If we only love those who love us, “what reward do [we] have? Do not even tax collectors do the same?” (Matt. 5:46; cf. v. 44).
We can talk about murder and the sins of others, but if we do not love our neighbors — even those who get their theology all wrong and those who annoy us to no end — we have not been transformed by the Sprit of Jesus… (p. 191).