Yesterday I wrote a little bit about unrighteous anger and what that looks like.  It's not pretty that's for sure! In this process that I'm going through with my own anger, I'm learning more about righteous anger and what that looks like.

Going back to Ephesians 4: 26-27 and 31-32, we see that it's okay to have anger, but it depends on what we do with it.
"And 'don’t sin by letting anger control you.'Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil...Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
If we let our anger control ourselves, it's not pleasing to God.  That type of anger is the unrighteous kind.  James puts it this way:
"Human anger' does not produce the righteousness God desires."  James 1:20
But we are instructed to be angry in a righteous way that reflects God.  What does that look like?

God was angry with Moses and his unbelief, which led him to resist going to Pharaoh (Exodus 4).  He is angered by the mistreatment of  the helpless (Exodus 22:21-24).  And there are multiple examples of his anger of those who turned from worshipping him to worshipping idols (Exodus 32:10; Deuteronomy 6:14-15; Judges 2:13-14).

Jesus was also angry.  He was angry at the Pharisees (Mark 3:5) and in the temple (John 2:13-22). 

Moses was angered by the Pharaoh, after he finally decided he was going to obey God (Exodus 11:8) and by the Israelites worship of the golden calf (32:1-20).  Galatians describes Paul's anger about the false teaching that has spread to the believers in Galatia and had accepted it. Men, just like you and me, can have righteous anger.

How do we know our anger is righteous?

1.  Righteous anger is God-like anger.  It is directed to man's actions.  Godly people are angry when God is angry.  It reflects God's character and not our own.

2.  Godly anger is legal anger.  It's anger towards the violation of God's laws and is expressed lawfully.

3.  Godly anger is slowly provoked.  Exodus 34:6 states that God is "slow to anger."  He warned the Isarelites many times before displaying his anger.  God is not like me and my short fuse.

4.  Godly anger is ALWAYS controlled.  Anger does not control the person.


It's kind of funny that all this "anger" talk has released a lot of my own.  I love the freeing feeling.  On Sunday, I'm going to work on how to change our anger to godly behavior.



 


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