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Question:
Be angry, but do not sin.

Had a discussion at a Bible study.
I said anger is good, and is natural. Another guy said we are to love everyone regardless, and have to get over anger immediately. I disagreed.
He is fairly knowledgeable and truly believed what he was saying. If someone kills your wife and kids, or cheats you at work, we can forgive them (as is the Christian thing to do), but our anger is still present. Any thoughts?

Answer:

I would say that you are both part right, and both part wrong.

Anger is an emotion given to us by God. Like any emotion, it depends on our motives and how we display that anger that makes it “good” or “bad”.

Anger that stems from righteousness is good. Jesus clearly demonstrated that:

John 2:13-17 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” (NKJV)

There are some who say that Jesus did this “matter-of-factly” without anger but I think that is seriously begging the point. Jesus was fully human and able to express all emotions that can be expressed without sin.

Jesus whipped them, drove them out and made exclamatory remarks while doing it. Sure sounds like He was angry at them for descrating God’s house.

Now, you’re friend is right in with respect to “get over it” and “we have to love everyone. Paul states it clearly for us:

Ephesians 4:25-27 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. (NKJV)

And of course we are to love even our enemies (Luke 6.27).

As Christians, we can be angry at things that God would be angry about, but we are to deal with that anger quickly in a way that honors God, and we are to always love those who anger us.

Those are my thoughts.

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