Be angry and do not sin. Ephesians 4:26 (ESV)

When was the last time you got angry? Is your answer something like -- I don’t get angry. I get sad. Please. Why, as women, are we uncomfortable with admitting anger? Is sadness a more refined emotion? More ladylike? Good girls get hurt? Bad girls get ticked off? Is anger bad?

To answer that, we have to take an honest look at what is bookending our feelings in each situation. I’m talking about cause and effect, here. Whether sadness, fury, fear or happiness, the right or wrong isn’t in the emotion. What determines if it’s sin is the root and the response.

In most cases, our emotions, including anger, don’t define us unless we team them up with ungodly action. But wait. Didn’t Jesus flip tables over when he got upset? Yes. Yes, he did. And he was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) And that takes us to the Trigger Test.

Jesus drove the merchants and their oxen out of the synagogue for defiling God’s holy temple. (John 2:13-18) The trigger? His wrath came from a place of devotion to the Father. It did not come from a selfish position. He was not protecting his honor. He was defending holiness. There it is -- Motives.

So ask yourself – What is really at the root of my feelings?

When anger comes from selfishness or pride, it becomes sin. When it twists the Father’s plan, or we hold onto it until it sours into bitterness, we dishonor God. When we attack each other instead of the issue, we are not acting in love. If it becomes destructive, we’ve crossed a line.

Heroes don’t let emotions boss us around. We take command of our feelings. A superhero’s anger is born in righteousness, desiring only to produce a right result. We stand up against injustice, yes. But we return good for evil. We turn over the enemies table, and we turn others to Jesus.

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