Bad anger, good anger

Who has never been this—annoyed, irritated, angry, resentful, or bitter?   Anger touches us all.  It is a part of being human.  Whenever we are corrected, threatened, or experience loss, we become angry.  It is a passionate emotion which flares up to protect what we treasure.

Most anger stems from what we care and defend the most—ourselves. It is easy to get mad when someone disagrees with you or corrects you.  It is even worse when a friend mistreats you, talks bad about you, or betrays you.  You might lash out, seek vengeance, or stew in bitterness.

What has been the intensity of your anger?  That depends.  What has been the duration of the division?  How long has it been since you talked with the person who made you angry: elderly parent, adult child, or Christian brother?  How many months has it been?  How many years?

In the list of sins which Jesus addresses in his famous Sermon on the Mount, anger is at the top of the list.  Why?  The evil anger residing in the heart is the same as actual murder.  In your anger and the elevation of yourself, you wish the other person did not even exist.

But this type of anger cannot exist within Christ’s kingdom.  You must put away from your heart all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking.  You must confess, forsake, and replace the poison with kindness, tenderness, and forgiveness.  This is the way of Jesus.

But you might say:  the Bible says “Be angry.”  This indeed is a fact.  But this type of anger is about the eradication of sin.  It is an anger that shows our care not for ourselves but a passion for God’s glory and the greater good of His people all around us.  We should be angry every day over the injustices that we see all around us, like for example, apathy, abuse, corruption, and poverty.  The anger is a powerful emotion that motivates us to make a difference in the lives of others.  Righteous anger produces godly reformation in individuals and communities.

Jesus was an angry, dangerous Rabbi (John 2, Matthew 23).  Let us follow His example.  Be angry and sin not.

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About Todd Wood

I am a servant of Jesus in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Join me in seeking Jesus in this city.
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