Home Psalms Be angry but do not sin

Be angry but do not sin


By Pr Isaiah White

A story is told of a monk who decided to leave the monastery and go to a solitary place, where he could meditate efficiently.

As he travelled, he saw a boat by the lakeside and decided to take it.

When he was far in the middle of the lake, he stopped and closed his eyes to meditate.

While he was deep in meditation, he heard a bump against the boat, he ignored it and kept his eyes closed.

Again his boat was hit the same way, and in his mind, he imagined people in a different boat were intentionally interrupting the meditation.

So, he continued with the meditation, but again his boat was bumped and this time harder.

After opening his eyes in fury, he only realised it was an empty boat swinging and hitting his boat.

He realised there was anger with in him that was only provoked by a swinging empty boat.

From that moment, he chose to look at all disturbing people in his environment as empty boats that might tempt him to lose and make mistakes in life.

In relation to the story, Psalms 4:4 reads: “Be angry and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.”

Anger can cause one to take wrong and regrettable decision. (Photo/Front Range Counseling Centre)

Anger is natural
Anger is a natural emotion in human beings. While its influence might be external, the condition is natural and majority of individuals are likely to be angry for particular reasons.

We do not always have a choice on how to feel, especially when we are vulnerable to anger triggers.

The Psalmist is not giving us authority when he says, ‘be angry’; but rather reminding us that we might find ourselves angry since it is normal for human beings to experience that emotion.

Anger is a natural emotion triggered by a specific environment.

Though it is natural to be angry, it does not necessarily mean that anger is right.

“Be slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).

One may make regrettable choices when they are angry; so, it is important to not make any decision out of anger.

Do not sin
While the reasons for anger are natural, it is not a just reason to sin.

However angry we are, we are responsible for what we plan, say and do.

Bitterness should not fill your thoughts and heart. The Word of God says in Matthew 12:34: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Before we act, it is sinful to let anger fill our heart. Believers in Jesus Christ are called to be better not bitter.

The best biblical example we can learn from is Moses. While in the wilderness, Israelites kept on complaining and he got angry.

In the first incidence when they complained about water, God asked Moses to strike the rock and he did (Exodus 17:6).

When they complained again, Moses got angrier, and when God told him to speak to the rock, he struck it instead, disobeying God (Numbers 20:8-11).

His anger led him to disobedience, and because of this, he did not make it to the Promised Land.

Most of us might have gone through a situation where we got angry and were led to make bad decisions which we regret.

From the Bible, we learn to be still when angry because we might sin if we act out of anger.

The writer is a life coach and pastor.
Contact: +256 775 822 833


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