Ray Rice knocking out his fiancé is all over the news. I don't know which gets more coverage him or ISIS. Watching the video of this horrendous act sends shivers down my back. The backlash has been universally outrage for his blatant brutality.
There are behaviors that civil societies will not tolerate, rape, child abuse, murder to name a few. When we see injustice done to the innocent our blood boils. When we see the weak mistreated we want to jump in a take action. We become angry at sin. I understand that people have different boiling points, different opinions on sin, but each of us, made in the image of God, will become angry toward an act that we see as egregious.
"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly." Proverbs 14:29
Anger has its place when it is directed at sin. Anger can motivate us to take action against unrighteousness. But anger done in sin will always lead to destruction. It is the discerning person who knows the difference.
The common Hebrew word for man's anger literally means "hot nose". I know when I am getting angry because my ears turn red and my blood boils. There is a passionate component to the imagery that if not contained can get out of control, and this is the danger for humans.
God's anger is always righteous, but mans anger is tainted by sin. Even if we begin with righteous intent prolonged anger more often then not produces sin. That is why Paul says don't let the sun go down on your anger. Whether the anger is righteous or not it will fester as we mull over and rationalize further action that turns to evil.
I have been angry at my children, spouse, friends, coworkers, and fellow believers. Sometimes justified and sometimes not, but when I don't deal with the issues that have caused the anger then all it produces is bitterness and resentment. If I don't seek to forgive or ask for forgiveness then my anger turns back on me and evil establishes a foothold.
Anger is often the result of a desire blocked. I want something that someone or something has kept me from achieving. It might be as silly as being angry with my lawn mower for not starting or as serious as a desire for safety being threatened. If I can identify what desire is blocked then I can deal with its root cause. By not letting the sun go down on my anger I am able to start each day with a fresh view of life and the goodness that comes from God. If I don't, then sin is crouching at the door. I'm just saying...
Eph. 4:26,27 "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil."