Comment taken from ‘Contempt‘ – Shane Vander Hart’s blog ‘Caffeinated Thoughts’
“Anger, for many of us, is not a righteous thing, but rather prideful or vengeful and it seeks to do harm. God throughout the Bible pointed His anger at sin. Righteous anger is anger at injustice and sin. Not at sinners, and not just when we are sinned against which is usually the only time we are angry at sin.
Righteous anger on our parts should lead to a response that is graceful and is bathed in truth. We should demonstrate mercy to the victims, and seek reconciliation with those who offend.” (Shane Vander hart)
“Why even draw a line between righteous anger and plain old anger – when the line is so thin to not be recognized? Wouldn’t it be better to say the standard is a huge ‘no’ to anger – then hope people keep the standard?
I know anger is actually not a bad thing – it’s a normal human emotion we all have when things happen to us or others that deeply hurts or offends us.
Anger is only a problem, which I think this teaching from Jesus addresses, when it becomes plans to act upon it (and continously obsessive at that). Jesus seems to be drawing a correlation between anger at something and becoming a murderer – which is very true. But Jesus is not saying anger is ‘bad’ – but that anger – if not kept in check – is a horrible process to follow through with (even obsess upon – which leads to actual doing).
But even righteous anger is quite bankrupt these days – anger at sin does not promote grace and truth – if we are talking about the same emotion (anger) here. Usually it leads people into fanaticism and not being level headed when dealing with an issue of ’sin’ – they actually become harshfully judgemental and do more stupid things. Some abortion doctors did not become victims by accident – no – someone thought what they did was ‘right/just’.
Not saying a ‘just anger’ does not exist – but I think Jesus is even addressing that also in this teaching about ‘dealing with anger’. I hate watching stuff on the Holocaust because it makes me hate the Nazi’s so much…well you know that anger I am talking about. Or when I watch the treatment from the gov’t of the black equality movement (civil rights) in the 1960’s – my blood just boils. I get the idea of a ‘just anger’ – for things we should be angry about…with good cause. But should we act upon that anger or let it take a foothold?
That’s the problem with anger and it being ‘just’ (which I believe is possible)…maybe it can spurn us onto dealing with these things in a ‘just way’ – then again maybe it causes such offenses in us that we react in the ‘wrong way’ (notice all these offences in the teaching are before a court). I think Jesus is teaching anger does exist and always will – but it is important to find ways to deal with it so as to not cause more problems…and this is obviously possible but I know it’s a tough one to teach.” (Me)
Anger…good and bad – how do you think it can be used righteously? or can it?