God called Believers to have righteous anger many times in the Bible, and this commandment remains to this day. Many Believers consider anger to be a sin, calling upon verses such as James 1:19 and Psalms 37:8, claiming that any form of anger is unbiblical. It is unwise, however, to disregard what else the Bible has to say about anger. In this post, we will understand why righteous anger is not a myth, but a commandment from the Lord.
Let’s begin with differentiating the two main types of anger. There is Biblical anger and foolish anger. Most Christians will rebuke foolish anger, but make no difference between the two, incorrectly marking all anger as a sin. This is not the truth. It is a sin to be angry at someone after you have forgiven them, and it is a sin to be angry over small problems that can be easily solved. Foolish anger is rooted in sin and human desires. Righteous anger, unlike foolish anger, is rooted in the Father’s love. Righteous anger will agree with the Lord’s Word, and should not based on our personal opinions. When Jesus threw the people out of the Temple, that was not based on His personal emotions. That anger was legal anger because they were going against the Lord’s Holy Word.
When Christians bring up Jesus being angry, they will remember how he flipped the tables in the Temple. This is not the only time Jesus, or the Lord, showed righteous anger. The Lord was angry at the Pharisees for their hardness in their hearts (Mark 3:5), He is angered by the mistreatment of orphans, widows, etc (Exodus 22), and He is angered by the worship of idols (Exodus 32:10; Deuteronomy 6:14-15; Judges 2:13-14; Ezra 8:22). I have heard Christians say, “Well, we aren’t God, so we can’t be angry like Him!” In response to this, I ask, has Jesus not called us, as Believers, to be like Him? 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 John 2:6, John 14:15… there are countless verses telling us to resemble Jesus. The Bible calls us to be angry but not sin (Ephesians 4:26) We can understand, then, that Jesus having righteous anger is not a sin, and while we, as humans, are sinful by nature, we can still follow His footsteps. Just as the Lord calls us to love our enemies, it is impossible to do such commandments alone, but when we draw closer to Jesus in fellowship, it is possible to do as He wills. Righteous anger is not a sin, but a commandment that we must draw closer to the Lord and His Word to fully grasp and exercise as He wills.
Righteous anger often calls Christians to action: like righteous anger over abortion, over the slaughter of Christians in foreign countries, over discrimination, and many other issues occurring today that are biblically unjust. Righteous anger is anger out of love. The Lord warns us not to be lukewarm. If we love, love with all our heart as the Bible commands, how could we not be angry? Jesus is angered because He possesses more love than even we can contain. Love is not love without anger, because if you don’t get angry over unrighteousness, how can you be loving the Lord, His Word, or people? It is Biblical to be close to Jesus, and feel what He feels–and He feels anger. If we feel that, too, and act out of love, we are not sinning. If we grow closer to Jesus and feel things that aren’t so mushy-gushy, that is not a sin. The truth is, true love, Jesus’ love… it is not always feel-good.
In conclusion, the Bible commands us to be slow to wrath, to be angry and sin not, and not let our anger consume us (Ephesians 4:26). It is possible to do God’s will, no matter how impossible or contradictory it may appear at first glance, when we dig deep into His Word. Without a solid understanding of who Jesus is and what He commands, it is easy to let anger consume us–just as Satan wants. However, the closer we draw to Jesus, and understand that He gave us the emotion of anger, that He will also guide that emotion if we allow Him. Let us be hot, and not cold or lukewarm, with love for Jesus and what is holy, and not stand by in uncertainty because we don’t understand God’s commandments.
I pray this post touches you and if you feel moved to, feel free to share this and fight Satan’s lies. ♥ God bless.