When your husband is insensitive, when the kids are selfish and squabble constantly, when your wife is disrespectful, anger stands ready to come to your defense. When others are not helpful anger is there to encourage you. When your pride is wounded, anger offers its healing power of retribution. When anger is embraced, God is cast aside.
But what about righteous anger? That’s always the trap. Paul says in Ephesians 4:26 that in your anger you should not sin. So, since it is possible to be angry and not sin, it easy to welcome anger like a friendly ally when others sin against us. But Ephesians 4:26 is not all that Paul has to say about anger. Just 5 verses later he commands that we must get rid of all anger! Is Paul contradicting himself?
No, he is not. Anger does have its place, but that place is not in personal satisfaction. Man’s anger does not build relationships. James says your anger will not lead to the righteous life that God desires. When anger leads to self-justification for sinful responses, it is never a good thing. Righteous anger will always lead to constructive, biblical action, not frustration, bitterness, or unkind words.
Paul says that you must be clothed in kindness and compassion towards others. You must follow the example of Christ. Anger will be of no help here. This is why he says to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger. These relational traits will keep you from showing the love of Christ to those whom you love. It will drive them away from you regardless of your intentions.