The other day I read Psalm 4 where David gave these words of advice, “Be angry, and do not sin” (verse 4). This made me think of two people who had every right to be angry. One sinned but the other did not even though he thought about it.
Moses got angry with the Israelites because of their constant complaining and grumbling and contending with him. When God told him to speak to the rock so that water would gush out for the people to drink, Moses disobeyed. Instead, he struck the rock ans as result of his disobedience, he was prevented from entering the Promised Land. God said to him and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:12).
Moses’ anger led to the sin of disobedience and the result was devastating for him. He begged God to change his mind (Deuteronomy 3:23-26) but to no avail.
Before my soulmate and I met he was in a two year relationship which he ended. He moved out and got a place of his own. Everything was going well until one morning in the wee hours, someone vandalized his car. He suspected that it was his ex. Understandably he was angry–so much so that he wanted to get back at her. He was tempted to do the same thing to her especially during those times when he had to walk home from the bus-stop or grocery store in freezing weather while she drove right by him. However, the Holy Spirit talked him out doing something he would regret.
And it all worked out. He and I met on the bus over four years ago and now we are blessed with a son and a car. If he had allowed his anger to get the better of him things would have turned out very differently. He would have prevented God from answering his prayer for a family.
Unchecked anger can cause people to do terrible things. Cain’s anger and jealousy led him to murder his brother (Genesis 4:1-8). In the Garden of Gethsemane Peter’s anger led him to hurt someone (John 18:10). Paul gave the same advice David did in handling anger. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:26, 27). Nothing is wrong with being angry as long as we don’t let it get the better of us.