OK to get angry, but keep control

  • Follow Your Faith

Was Jesus ever angry? Students of the Bible are always quick to recall the time and place when he angrily chased out of the Temple in Jerusalem the greedy merchants.

Was Jesus justified in being angry? If so, about what was he angry? Those in charge of the Temple had converted the place of worship and study into primarily a marketplace for those who sold doves for sacrificial purposes, and money changers who converted the pilgrims’ foreign coins into local currency – all with exorbitant prices.

The time of Passover was like Masters Week in Augusta. The merchants were taking advantage of the pilgrims (especially the poor) who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the festival of the Passover. Someone needed to “call a spade a spade,” and Jesus decided to be that person and stand up for what was right and true in God’s sight.

In Ephesians 4:26, the Apostle Paul provided us with a key verse we need to keep in mind when we feel called to express our anger: “Be angry but do not sin.” The first truth here is giving us permission to express anger, which is a natural feeling we may have.

But, in doing so, Paul wisely stated that we need to be in control of our anger, otherwise we can do more harm than good.

During my young teenage years, I allowed my anger to get out of control. To this day, I cannot remember what caused me to become angry, but my older brother had done something that infuriated me; therefore, allowing my anger to control me, I took a hammer and destroyed a freshly made brick barbecue pit my brother had just built in our backyard. With great, sincere remorse, I later apologized.

A similar anger episode occurred toward my father, resulting in my hitting him in the mouth. Once again, I later apologized the same way.

What resulted from these uncontrolled anger experiences was a fear of my ever allowing myself to become angry, which amplified into my not allowing myself to have any feelings about anything, the good or the bad.

Thus, I became a boring type person. By way of preparing me to become a licensed, clinically trained marriage and family therapist, I was freed to claim and express my feelings without sinning, which the Bible teaches us that there are times and places to so do.

THE REV. GENE NORRIS IS A PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR IN AUGUSTA.


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