The Bible says, “Be angry and do not sin” (Eph. 3:26, HCSB), be “slow to become angry” (James 1:19, HCSB), and says of Jesus that He became “indignant” (a form of anger, Mark 10:14). Statements like these give indication that we can become angry at the right time and for the right reasons. So, when is it right to be angry? Here are four times when it is right to get mad.
When God’s Word and will are consciously disobeyed.
Remember when Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments? After this wonderful experience he came down the mountain to rejoin the people and was confronted by a sacrilegious ceremony. The profane and open rebellion of the Israelites ignited a burning anger that roared in the furnace of Moses’ heart. It is the same kind of justified anger that should crackle in the heart of every Christian who sees the will of God openly disobeyed by other believers.
When human need is met with indifference.
Early in his ministry Jesus observed a man with a withered hand worshiping in the synagogue. The Pharisees were offended at Jesus’ sensitivity to the crippled man’s obvious need. Only medical emergencies were allowed treatment on the Sabbath. The man’s injury would “keep until tomorrow,” according to the Pharisees’ logic. When the needs of persons were deliberately ignored, Jesus became angry. It is the same kind of anger that should rage in our hearts when we see people ignored and neglected when they are hurting.
When religion is used for selfish gain.
Remember the time when Jesus entered the temple and saw numerous business people taking advantage of the pilgrims coming from far away to make sacrifices and pay taxes. These unscrupulous business people were charging high fees to exchange foreign currency and accepting animal sacrifices that were bought only from them at a ridiculously high price. The dishonesty and misuse of power moved Jesus to seething anger. This is the same kind of anger that should burn in every believer’s heart when people use the church and religion for personal gain.
When parents are unfair to children.
Paul speaks to the sensitive parent-child relationship when he says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them” (Eph. 6:4, NLT). Paul indicates that fathers have a tendency to exasperate their children, especially dads who are given to impatience and don’t take time to understand feelings. Fathers are to deal with their children fairly. When this does not happen, and when physical force and violence are involved, it should stir the chords of anger in our hearts.
Questions to Consider:
- Why do you get angry?
- What do you usually get angry about?
- Do you get angry about the things mentioned above?
- What does getting angry about these things and sinning not look like?
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