Be Angry and Do Not Sin

It’s Not Wrong to Identify Your Enemy

Cody Libolt
For the New Christian Intellectual
3 min readApr 11, 2019


“You can observe a lot by just watching.” — Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra’s​ aphorism applies when you read the Bible.

For instance, what can you learn by reading Ephesians 4:26a?

It says:

“Be angry and do not sin.”

From this verse, it would seem it is possible to be angry and not sin. It seems that not all anger is harmful or wrong.

Does that idea accord with other observations from Scripture?

Think about Nehemiah rebuking some and calling down curses on them. Not very “Christ-like”?

Okay… then think about Jesus cleansing the temple and saying at least a dozen things that some today would not consider “Christ-like.”

Check your premises.

Food for Thought:

Ephesians 4:25–32

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

27 and give no opportunity to the devil.

28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Nehemiah 2:19–20

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”

20 Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”

Nehemiah 4:4–5

4 Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives.

5 Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders.

Nehemiah 4:14

14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

*All verses are in the ESV

Additional Reading:

Resources on Tone, Judgment, Divisiveness, and Unity