When Is Anger at Death Sinful?

by Paul Tautges | February 26, 2019 7:27 am

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)

Anger is one of the required “stages of grief,” so you are told. And if you have not gone through these predictable stages then you have not processed your grief. This teaching is so prevalent in our society that almost everyone accepts it without question. In order for you to process the grief associated with your loss, you must vent your anger, and the people around you are just going to have to deal with it. And if you don’t experience anger then its proof you are in “denial.” But is this an accurate, scriptural way to think?

To admit that something is common is not the same as saying it is essential. Yes, it may be common to experience anger alongside, or mixed within, your grief. But it is not essential for you to do so. Nor should you be led to believe that you have not properly “worked through your grief” if you did not get angry.

In two previous posts (here[1] and here[2]), we thought about the blend of grief and anger in times of loss. Jesus experienced this mixture, yet did not sin. Therefore, we acknowledged that it’s possible for a Christian to be angry and not sin. However, due to the problem of indwelling sin, righteous anger is extremely rare and should be short-lived. Anger quickly and easily becomes sinful, even in times of loss.

Today, to be a faithful counselor, it is necessary to issue further warning.

James is correct, “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Are you angry at God? Others? Is there sinful anger that you need to confess to God?

  1. here: https://counselingoneanother.com/2019/02/19/jesus-got-angry-at-death/
  2. here: https://counselingoneanother.com/2019/02/21/when-is-anger-at-death-righteous/
  3. Bob Kellemen: https://smile.amazon.com/Gods-Healing-Lifes-Losses-Presents/dp/0884692701/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=kellemen+life%27s+losses&qid=1551184771&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

Source URL: https://counselingoneanother.com/2019/02/26/when-is-anger-at-death-sinful/