Anger and Sin

Be angry without sinning. Ephsians 4:26a

Just a note before you read this sermon illustration: Many of the illustrations you find on are light hearted and cause a smile. This one is very poignant and sad and, for some, may be upsetting.

The emotion of anger creates the need for a balance point among believers. We know for certain, simply by experiencing life, that it is impossible to avoid being angry. It is a real and prevalent emotion. The Bible is full of people who got angry, almost all for reasons that we would find understandable. We know that God Himself is capable of anger. Yet there is that pesky text in Ephesians – Be angry, without sinning. Thus the balance.

We also know from our experience that uncontrolled anger can be dangerous and harmful – to the person experiencing the anger and to those all around him or her.

A powerfully sad illustration of the danger of uncontrolled anger is found in the story of Slobodan Jankovic.

Jankovic was a Serbian basketball player who, on April 28, 1993 was playing for Panionios of the Greek Basketball League. In a playoff game against Panathinaikos, Jankovic was called for an offensive foul, which disallowed the basket he had just scored. It was his fifth foul, which meant he was out of the game. In a moment of rage, Jankovic stormed over to the goal post and slammed his head against the padded concrete stanchion. When he did, he caused permanent damage to his spinal cord and was unable to walk for the rest of his life.

After spending 13 years in a wheelchair, Jankovic died of heart failure at age 42 while on a cruise.

It was the ultimate price for anger.

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WARNING: This video version shows the actual injury and is graphic.

WARNING: This video version shows the actual injury and is graphic.