Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath.
Can you be angry and not guilty of a sin? Ephesians 4:26 seems to teach that this is possible. However, the fact that Paul must take time to remind us not to sin in our anger leaves serious doubt as to how often you and I can actually be angry and not simultaneously be in sin. As humans living in a fallen world, it is very easy to get angry at other people. They cut us off in traffic, spread rumors about us at school or work, and take advantage of us when we need help. Anger also rises against inanimate objects more often than not. When was the last time your blood boiled over a computer, your car, or some other piece of equipment that wasn’t operating the way it was designed to work? This type of anger is all around us. We are filled with it every day. When you and I get angry with other people or objects we are in sin.
Just as love separated from godliness becomes sin, so too our anger separated from godliness is sinful. A study of godly anger in the Old and New Testaments is understood best through the character of God the Father and Jesus the Son. Both figures of the godhead have been attributed with anger, and yet, neither of them has sinned. This is only possible because godly anger is solely directed towards sin. There is no room for believers to be angry at sinful people, inanimate objects, or unfair situations. The only anger acceptable within Scripture is that anger directed towards sin itself. Furthermore, we are not allowed to let our anger fester inside of us or explode in outburst of wrath. We are a finite people who serve an infinite God. It is for this reason that God has commanded, “Vengeance is mine.” What God can do in perfect holiness, we can seldom do without sinning.