Be angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath (Ephesians 4:26).
As Christians, how we deal with conflict show the type of faith we have, and the type of persons we are. Conflict resolution and anger management is key to how we live here on earth with others, especially with those we are in disagreement with, or who are antagonistic against us.
Let me first begin by saying that anger as an emotion, is not a sin. Anger is a valid response when wrongful acts are committed. We all remember the account of when Jesus drove out the money changers out of the temple in Jerusalem in anger (Matthew 21:12-13). He expressed what is called righteous indignation against the acts of thievery that were being committed in the house of God. Righteous indignation is anger that stirs you up to do something about something. It motivates us into action. The problem that most us have with anger however, is that many times our expression of anger leads us into sin.
Anger that causes you to commit a sinful act is wrong. Anger that causes you to commit an illegal act contrary to the law of God is wrong. Anger that causes you to hate is wrong. Anger that causes you to pay back evil with evil is wrong. Anger that causes you to lose control of yourself, and say and do things that you will regret later, is wrong. How then can we use anger in a postive way that does not cause us to sin? How can we channel that anger into something good and productive?
The answer to the above questions all lie with motive. What motives you to do what you do? That is the question to ask. Is your anger being motivated by love or by hate? Is your anger being motivated by the desire for what is right, or by fear of being wrong? Are you quick to fly off the handle, or do you weigh the facts before becoming upset? Is your anger all about controlling others or is it because you have a fear of being controlled? Do you take matters into your own hands because you do not trust 'the system' to do what is right, or do you defer to 'the system'? I tell you, anger that is motivated by hate, fear, lack of trust, impatience, spite, insubordination, and so on will result in negative consequences. A quiet anger that is slow and not hasty, that weighs the facts, that is motivated by love, and that acts within the scope of its authority will produce good results. When Jesus drove out the money changers, it was not just something that He suddenly decided to do on the spur of the moment. The thievery had been going on for a long time - for years. He had been preaching about righteous living for three-and-one-half years now, but apparently, His message had no impact on the temple merchants. He therefore acted within His authority as the One who created the Temple system of worship, to clean up the Temple system of worship. Because of this one act, many churches, even today, are reluctant to have any type of buying/selling or commerce within their sanctuary walls.
To conclude then, let us learn to control our anger and not let our anger control us. Be angry and sin not!