Friday, January 9, 2009

Be angry and don't sin

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. [26] Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, [27] and give no opportunity to the devil. [28] Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. [29] Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Put away false hood… be angry and do not sin. Don’t be fake. I don’t know why but it seems you run into a lot of Christians who haven’t figured this out. They have some sort of preconceived notion that Christians are supposed to be happy and bubbly, and have a smile on their face as queer as a three dollar bill. Perhaps its just me, but I sense a shallowness in this. They see a grieving brother or sister and think the person is losing faith because they aren’t happy. Or they see a brother angry and sense that he must be sinning. Christ got angry. Christians will get angry. We are still human, and we experience life, the way Christ experienced life. But we don’t let our anger take us to the point of sin, murder and bodily harm. That doesn’t mean that we don’t kill at times, war and the death penalty. It is o.k for the executioner to be angry at the crimes of the executed. But neither should we stew in anger. Address the issue, speak the truth to your neighbor, and don’t varnish it, let your anger show when it is called for. But don’t let the sun go down on your anger either. A little anger might be what is needed, but don’t let it keep you up at night. Let it go. Forgive. Christ has forgiven you. Christ even forgives the anger you stew in. Always remember, the Christian life, isn’t living the perfect life, but living the forgiven life, that makes you perfect.

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