for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (ESV)
I have often been amazed at the anger that seems to pour out of people who claim that there is no God. Atheists have a world view in which they claim that there is absolutely no evidence that God exists and, in fact, all of the evidence proves that there is no God at all. When it is posed to them that God is real they often respond with fury.
I have always thought that if someone is talking about God and you are an atheist, why not just laugh it off? Why should it affect you so much if someone believes in something that you think is a fairy tale. You probably don't get as angry if someone believes in unicorns. But I think there is something more going on. The Word of God angers those who live in rebellion to it.
James is telling us in this verse that the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. In the context of this verse James is talking about anger against God's Word. Be honest. Have you ever heard something in God's Word and gotten angry? Perhaps God's Word confronted a particular sinful behavior that you had no intention of repenting of.
God's Word is truth. The writer of Hebrews describes the Word as sharper than a two-edged sword. The reality is God's Word has a way of cutting through all of our rebellion and defenses. We either surrender to it's authority, or we fall back into this childish anger against God's Word. That anger will not produce righteousness. Anger just keeps you trapped in your sin. I leave you with these wonderful words from Hebrews 4:12:
 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (ESV)