Be Angry But Sin Not – As Seen in a Commercial

One of the most basic human passions is anger. Not all anger is sinful, however. One way different types of anger can be distinguished is by their object.

If the object of the anger is appropriate (e.g., injustice), then anger is an appropriate response. In the case of reacting to injustice, anger is like an energy that the soul delivers in order to address the injustice with zeal and persistence.

On the other hand, if the object of the anger is inappropriate, then so is the anger. Some examples of this would be anger generated by something petty such as a perceived slight or anger resulting from someone pointing out that we are wrong. In such cases anger is to some degree sinful because its cause is tainted.

Anger can also become sinful if it is inordinate. Even if anger’s object is appropriate, we don’t have the right to rage, strike out, or excessively vent our anger.

Anger is a passion that is hard to master. It has its place, but we must learn to curb it and uses its force for good.

In the video below, there is a humorous illustration of appropriate anger vs. excessive anger. In the first scene, a football player stirs up anger in his teammates (about an opposing team who “dares” to enter their home stadium) in order to win a football game. I know that a football game is a petty object, but allow it for illustration.

In the second scene, one of the players uses excessive anger to rid his house of a mere fly. Although the object of his anger is somewhat appropriate, the anger is excessive and ends up causes a lot of collateral damage. Be careful with your anger, even when it is just!

Scripture says, Be angry but sin not (Ephesians 4:26).

6 Replies to “Be Angry But Sin Not – As Seen in a Commercial”

  1. at 53 I have seen a lot of changes since the 60’s. some things seem to be repeating themselves. the level of anger that people vent for some of the most trivial things. even things that deserve a stern response the anger in people’s eyes are at a level that I haven’t seen. its scary in a way. not that I am concerned that I will be harmed in some way but in knowing how to respond to someone who seems so deep in anger that any response will bring another onslaught of anger that could bring an aggressive response. not sure if that makes sense. its what I vaguely remember of the 60’s. is satan trying to repeat the 60’s with the campus protests and anti-establishment violence?

  2. Isn’t it important to remember that scripture also teaches not to be the
    provoker of anger to another person? It seems to me that God will show more
    mercy to one who is constantly being provoked, even if they lose their temper…

    Chronic, willful, provoking someone to anger has always been defined quite simply: Bully!
    Scripture seems to show that God deals very harshly with those who constantly bully…

  3. Very helpful thanks Msgr Pope, will show this to a friend who is really struggling with anger.

  4. Monsignor Pope,

    What about being angry, upset, hurt, and disappointmented with God….?????? Help me see how I should react when I feel this way….obviously many negative things have been happening in my life and that if my family lately, I try not to be upset, lose faith, become bitter, but it’s a constant battle,,,help.

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