Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Anger

QUESTION: Explain Eph. 4:26, "Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath."

ANSWER: In the presence of wrongdoing, if we are Godlike, we must feel such displeasure as he feels (Rom. 1:18). Hence there is a sinless anger, an adverse emotion in view of any injustice or falsehood demanding the punishment of the wrongdoer in the interest of good order and righteousness, not of personal ill will. This feeling, though consistent with uninterrupted perfect love, has its perils, if it becomes chronic and settles into a grudge. The being angry without sin presupposes that the heart is not embittered, but remains appeasable. To secure this feeling let not the anger be carried over into the following day. Have a faith that leaves the matter with God, as Paul exhorts us in Rom. 12:19, for the first time correctly translated in the American Version, "Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me." The truth is that anger in human hearts is like a razor in the hands of a baby. The sooner it is handed over to the child's father the better for it. A negro woman complained to her pastor of the ill treatment she was suffering by her husband. When asked whether she had applied the Scriptural cure of heaping coals of fire on his head (Rom. 12:20), she replied, "No, but I have tried pouring hot water on him, but it made him all the worse." There is much good sense in Wesley's note: "If ye are angry, take heed ye sin not. Anger at sin is not evil; but we should feel only pity to the sinner. If we are angry at the person, as well as the fault, we sin. And how hardly do we avoid it!"

— from Steele's Answers pp. 95, 96.