Should You Be Angry?
I have often been told (usually by gutless people who wouldn’t take a stand for what’s right if you put a gun to their head) that good people should not get angry. I have often been told that anger is bad, and has no place in a good person.
It is true that anger, when misused, is bad and wrong (just as the wonderful gift of sex is bad and wrong when misused, but completely right when done correctly).
As James tells us, the base anger of human beings does not produce the righteousness of God.
But God does not tell us to never be angry. Instead, he tells us when we are angry, not to sin in that anger.
God created our emotions to help guide us and motivate us to proper action. We feel love, and this emotion is supposed to motivate us to care for those we love. We feel fear, and this emotion is supposed to make us cautious about things that may cause harm. And we feel anger, with this emotion intended to motivate us to take action concerning that which is wrong.
And as G.K. Chesterton points out, Jesus was sometimes a man of anger.
The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth. – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908)
Why would evil people want you to not get angry about their evil? As yourself that question. These people are willfully behaving immorally…and we are supposed to believe they are so moral as to be above anger? Or is it just you they expect to be “above” anger? If evil people claim you shouldn’t be angry at their evil (an anger that the Creator and standard of morality Himself did not shy away from), ask yourself why?
So the next time you encounter injustice, or you encounter fraud, or you encounter lawlessness, or you encounter deliberate or careless error, or you encounter lies and deception, or you encounter anything that sets itself up against what is right (and our world is full of such things from and in all political parties), ask yourself: Should I be angry about this? Would God be angry about this? And if God would be angry about it, shouldn’t you?
And in your anger, do not sin.
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