The best instructions for how and when to be angry are found on the pages of God’s Word and a great place to start is with Ephesians 4:26, 31 and 32.
These verses were written for you, the Christian, and they teach you how to express your anger in the right ways and for the right reasons. Consider them one-by-one:
Ephesians 4:26: In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
The key to understanding verse 26 is to know that the words “anger” and “angry” seem to be interchangeable but in the language of the New Testament they have different meanings. “Anger” refers to righteous anger toward sinful things like injustice, dishonesty, corruption, or immorality. Righteous anger can move you to take positive action toward these things as in rebuking an offender, righting a wrong, self-defense or the defense of another.
Righteous anger is honorable and constructive.
“Do not let the sun go down while you are angry” refers, not to righteous anger, but to sinful rage. The NKJV translates this phrase as “do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” This type of raging anger is unrighteous, and it leads to hurt, broken relationships, shame or much worse.
In short and in the context of verse 26, you can be angry at an abusive co-worker or a dishonest business practice, and you can respond appropriately with righteous anger, but you cannot lose control of yourself and abuse others (i.e., unrighteous anger).
Ephesians 4:31: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
This verse complements verse 26. It tells you more about how to express your righteous anger and it does it by telling you what not to do, as in no rage, no vengeance, no malicious intent, and no physical attacks.
Proverbs 29:22 says, “a hot-tempered one commits many sins” and Proverbs 29:11, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
As a Christian the controlling of your anger is the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in your life.
Ephesians 4:32: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Finally, this verse tells us that there will be times when it is best to overlook some offenses altogether. Instead, forgive the offending person, turn them over to God, and move on.
Proverbs 19:11 declares, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” and Proverbs 12:1, “a prudent man overlooks an insult.”
Remember James 1:19 which says “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”