Are anger, fear, and anxiety sins to be repented of? Some believe so, pointing to the presence of commands in the Bible to put away anger, fear not, and be not anxious for anything. And we must know what to make of these negative emotions one way or another, without either being antinomian – i.e., lawless – or else excessively severe to those who are suffering more than sinning when they find themselves experiencing these feels.
As Christians, we are told to not act like the world does, in the futility of their minds. They do not understand, and are estranged from godly living because they are ignorant and stubborn. Let’s do get that straight. The Bible is abundantly clear about it.
But instead of carrying on in a worldly way, we shouldn’t just tell one another the truth as Christians; we also have to allow one another to tell the truth – even hard truths – as members alike of the body of Christ. We are literally commanded in the Scriptures to let one another do this thing. And that means we do not prohibit one another from doing this thing.
A truth, then – which some seem either not to know is true, or else actively insist is not true – is that you do have permission from the Almighty to be angry for a little while.
Just don’t think your anger gives you a right to sin. It doesn’t. And don’t think you have a license to keep on stubbornly being angry. You don’t.
What’s more, you should know that so long as you stubbornly hold onto being angry, you make yourself vulnerable to Satan, who loves to exploit your anger to tempt and derail you.
For example, some of what you may be tempted to say in the heat of a moment would wickedly hurt not only you, but also the people around you, if you gave into that temptation. However you feel, you nevertheless have a duty to say only things that build up the people around you, as appropriate to the circumstance, in a gracious way. You have no right to say untrue things, but only true things, whatever your emotions may indicate to the contrary.
So stop stubbornly clinging to your bitterness, anger, strife, and accusing of others. You have no right to be malicious just because you have pain or personal suffering in your life. Instead, your calling in Christ is to kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness. And this is because God in Christ forgave you.
But you are in such a hurry to talk and get angry. We all are. You should try being in a hurry to listen instead. And remember again always that our anger is not nearly so conducive to the righteousness of God as it is a weakness Satan wants to exploit to even more suffering for us and those around us.
Merely listening to these and other truths is not enough. Don’t kid yourself. We have to act and relate and orient ourselves according to the truth, however we feel. And if you count yourself a fine Christian, but you don’t control what comes out of your mouth, your religiosity means nothing. God says so.
Maybe the worry-warts in your life are getting on your nerves. If so, tell the anxious, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
And don’t be anxious about your own life, or about anything. Pray and give thanks instead. And take your requests to God. Then your heart and your mind will rest safe and sound in Christ.
And stop being so afraid of people. Yes, they may have power to hurt you in this life. But everything hidden is known by God, and will be made known by Him in the end. And however menacing the malicious people in your life are, they can’t kill your soul. That’s the really important thing.
But do be afraid of God who has power and authority to dispose of you, both body and soul. That is the beginning of wisdom. And yet God says we’re worth more than many sparrows, so we also shouldn’t be afraid in another sense, even as we should fear God.
The number of hairs on our heads is known by our Creator. So we don’t need to be afraid of being forgotten or overlooked or neglected because our Father in Heaven has given, is giving, and will give us the kingdom in Christ Jesus.
Christ’s peace he left with us, then. His peace he gave us. And he doesn’t give like the world gives. So don’t let your hearts be troubled, and don’t be angry, anxious, or afraid. Take courage instead, and meditate on what is true according to God. That will endure, and you can rest your weary soul in His promises accordingly, casting your cares on Him since He cares for you.
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