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  • Writer's pictureSylvia St. Cyr

Anger Is Not a Sin

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

When you read that title, that anger is not a sin, what comes to mind for you? Do you believe this? Or, like me, do you buck this idea and feel like being angry actually is a sin?

Growing up, in general, if I felt happy emotions, I was allowed and encouraged to express them. However, if I felt overly sad, angry, frustrated, confused, etc., I wasn’t supposed to let that show.

In short, I was led to believe that being angry was a sin, even if it was never said out loud.

The truth is, being angry is not a sin. It can absolutely lead you to want to act out in violence or in vengeance and obviously that is not good! However, simply feeling angry is a part of life. Over the past few months, I have been relearning the healthy way to express emotions instead of covering them up or hiding them like I used to.

A beautiful coincidence (which I always credit God for) is that the three different books by three different authors I’m reading right now all talk about emotions and being honest about them, in some way.

When we look at the word of God, we can clearly see that anger is a part of life. I enjoy the Psalms, mostly because of how vulnerable, real, and raw King David was when he cried out to God with his emotions, over and over again. Plus, he was a man after God’s own heart, right?

Take a look at Psalm 4:4 for example.

Think long; think hard. When you are angry, don’t let it carry you into sin.

It doesn’t say, “never be angry”. It says, “when you are angry”. This implies that we will get angry. Even Jesus got angry! (Matthew 21:12-13)

The main thing is that we do not allow our anger to carry us into sin, which is where maturity and growth come in.

So what should we do when we’re rightfully angry? How do we react when we have been wronged by someone and it makes us angry?

Allow me to answer by sharing a recent experience of mine. Last week I had received some news in the mail that made me mad. Not frustrated or even peeved. It caused me to shake in anger so much that I could feel it coursing through my veins.

That evening I was supposed to have coffee with a dear friend of mine. However, I knew that I wouldn’t be good company. This slight done to me was fresh and it was all I could think about. So I called her up and asked to reschedule. When my friend asked why, I told her I was royally angry with a situation and I wouldn’t be great to talk to.

Instead of rescheduling, her response was, “I’m coming anyway. Your anger doesn’t scare me and we don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, but if you want to simply vent, then you can vent.”

You see, anger can be just anger, but often it’s actually masking a deeper emotion. Perhaps what’s underneath the anger is sadness, frustration, pain, or even insecurity. But what happens when we stuff anger down and don’t let it out in the proper way is that we will never know what the real source is.

When we stuff down anger and pretend that we’re fine when we’re not, it turns into bitterness or even hatred. That is when the anger has turned into sin.

The best method to stop this from happening is allow yourself to go through the anger. Allow yourself to feel it, talk about, scream it out even, and then see where you are at. A healing way to do this is work through this process with someone you trust. Either a close family member, a truth-speaking friend, or of course, God, who created you and cares for you.

Anyway, back to the story. My friend did end up coming over that evening. Instead of going somewhere, we ended up sitting in her car and just talked. Well, truth be told, I did a lot of the talking that night and she listened.

Finally, after I got all my feelings of anger out, I started crying. And there was the underlying, real feeling. What had happened hurt me. I started off very angry, worked through that fresh anger with a trusted friend, and then the hurt showed up and I was able to cry it out. By the end of the evening, as my friend just listened, loved on me, and then prayed for me, I felt much lighter and had a greater perspective on the whole situation.

What this does is also allow you to work through the raw feelings first so that by the time you respond (if you do), you can do it in a truth-filled-with-love kind of way, instead of a spiteful, feeling-like-you-want-to-crush-the-person kind of way.

If you’d like to go more in depth with this topic, I highly recommend the book The Emotionally Healthy Woman, by Geri Scazzero.

Say it with me, “I am allowed to be and feel angry. It’s okay. My anger will never scare God away and feeling angry is not a sin. When I bring my anger to God in honesty, that’s when I can start to heal.”

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