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March 12 – Is It Okay To Ever Become Angry As A Christian?

March 12, 2012

God is sometimes angry.  It is difficult to think about this, but if we will pause a minute and think about it, He must be angry with sin.

Psalm 7:11 – God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Because He is a just God, God is angry with sinners every day. Surely God’s anger is not wrong.  That is correct, it is proper because it is based on His justice.

Many other passages show that God is angry when people commit sin. He will punish sinners in wrath.  If God is infinitely righteous yet is often angry, why should I assume that people are always wrong when they are angry? (See Romans 1:18; 2:5-9; 5:6-11; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; John 3:36)

Jesus was angry with sin.

  1. When Jesus cleared the temple of the money changers and animal-sellers, He showed great emotion and anger (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18; John 2:13-22).  Jesus’ emotion was described as “zeal” for God’s house.

Joh 2:17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Another time Jesus showed anger was in the synagogue of Capernaum.  When the Pharisees refused to answer Jesus’ questions, “when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts”  (Mark 3:5).

Many times, I think of anger as a selfish, destructive emotion that I should eradicate from my life altogether. However, the fact that Jesus did sometimes become angry indicates that anger itself, as an emotion, is amoral and can be warranted.  Our reference verse in Ephesians 4:26 instructs me “Be ye angry, and sin not” and to not let the sun go down on my anger. The command is not to “avoid anger” (or suppress it or ignore it) but to deal with it properly, in a timely manner.

When I get angry, too often I have improper control.  I know I have an improper focus.  I fail many times.  This is the “wrath of man,” of which the scripture says “let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20).  Jesus did not exhibit man’s anger, rather, the righteous indignation of God.

But, some people assume that Christians should never show signs of a temper.  If a Christian raises his voice or becomes visibly upset, some people think or act as though he violated his duty as a Christian.  However, we need to consider the dangers of anger and then learn how to appropriately deal with it in a way that God will be pleased.

Stay tuned…

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