Of all Drivers, I might be the most profane when cut-off. Of all avengers, I’m the one hell-bent on revenge. Do I watch these Antifa protesters on YouTube, wishing the hand of God would come down on their arrogance swiftly? You’re dang right I do. Of all fighters, I resort to a brawl. Which is why in writing this, of all hypocrites, I may as well own up to being one of the greatest of all time.
Anger is a very real struggle for many people, but do we know that being angry, alone, isn’t a sin. It’s what you do in that anger, that becomes destructive. How do we restrain ourselves only to righteous anger? How can we defuse anger in a healthy manner?
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
You’re not wrong, the minivan who nearly clipped your front bumper because they failed a simple “over the shoulder” check, is definitely merit to be a little upset. However, for anger to be justified, the punishment must fit the crime. Anger over Justice is known as “Righteous Anger,” which I’ll get into in a bit. While they may have almost hit you, you don’t exactly have the right to drive up alongside them with your favorite finger raised high outside your car window. Let’s be real.. this probably happened on a 35mph road and if they were to hit you, everyone would still be okay and walk away from the accident.
Beloved, this is because anger alone isn’t a sin, as well as the extent of your anger should be relatively applicable to the situation. We’ve all heard it before, “you’re overreacting.” In that moment, you’d think that person became public enemy #1, but the truth is, you probably were overreacting.
“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”
Now, I’m going to admit that at the end of this, you’ll probably still feel left with questions unanswered. Because when it comes to providing solutions to maintaining your anger, I’ve got nothing for you but the typical regurgitations of addressing your temper with analytical methodology, such as “taking a break from the task.” Have I not mentioned my legendary status in hypocrisy?
But I’m not that important, you came here to learn something, so if anything, know that the devil telling you “You’re the worst of them,” is a lie straight from Hell. Did you not think, at the beginning of this piece, “I’d bet I’m worse than you when getting cut off in traffic.” It really does seem to be something Satan likes to remind us of. “Yes, Christ died for sinners, but you?! You are absolutely terrible! FAR beyond the reach of God’s grace.”
Kind of makes you angry at the devil, doesn’t it? But see, that anger is just. Getting angry at a minivan for an accident is one thing, but facing the devil himself whose swan song is the sound of Chaos, is quite different. Nothing about Satan is rooted in justice, which is why believers get fed up with him quickly. This kind of anger is known as “Righteous Indignation.”
Wikipedia describes righteous indignation as “Typically a reactive emotion of anger over mistreatment, insult, or malice of another.” It goes on to say, “it is akin to what is called the sense of Justice.”
If you have the Holy Spirit in you, then you have the sense of justice in you, and as long as you have that sense of justice, you will be prone to righteous anger. Which isn’t at all an issue, righteous anger comes when we see injustice, how could it be marked as a sin against us to have a passion for justice? Righteous indignation is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, even the Lord hates injustice and is angered by it.
Beloved, that’s the difference between anger and righteous anger: “was the action just?” Anger is usually what happens when our pride is insulted, or something along those lines, while righteous anger is an emotional flair set by seeing injustice. Righteous anger doesn’t attack, it makes plans to defend someone or something. Anger is offensive, righteous anger is defensive.
Anger plots to make one suffer, while righteous anger plots to end ones suffering.
Here’s the part I warned you of earlier- the “Solution” paragraphs. Something that was always taught to me as a kid was, “don’t come to me with have a problem unless you have a solution.” Which is a great lesson to teach kids; how to be analytical, how to spot a problem, diagnose it, and solve the issue. However, I regret to inform you that all I have for you are the textbook answers.
Let’s start with a multiple choice scenario, and because I’m some degree of vain, I’ll use a personal example. So, I’m a big fan of Motorcycles.. huge fan really. I ride every day and refuse to even own a car. Have you ever tried to work on your own car? Nothing, and I mean nothing, on planet earth will ever find its way under your skin with finesse like machine maintenance will. Countless times, have I cocked back my arm with a wrench in my hand, ready to smash my fairings into a plethora of plastic pieces. I shouldn’t have to tell you, in that moment, what I’m feeling is not righteous anger. What injustice could a motorcycle perform? No, instead, it wasn’t meeting my expectations, it wasn’t following my plan. It was like the bike wanted to exchange insults every step of the way.
“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”
So here I sit, frustrated to the point where I feel my entire body flair with a sudden wave of heat. Should I then; A) Continue the job with a temper, B) Switch to a preferred task, or C) Walk away and gather myself?
Nobody in their right mind would choose option A, are you trying to go mad? No, Most of you are probably leaning on B or C. The answer is actually C, walk away and gather yourself. See, when we switch to a preferred task, we just make the anger go away with something that makes us happy. This is actually the exact phenomenon that’s created generations of entitled individuals, because instead of learning how to deal with their anger, they’re instead handed a lollypop, which teaches people that when they’re upset they should be rewarded.
Beloved, this is not so. We need to meditate on the Holy Spirit in our anger, we don’t need things to distract us from learning how to deal with our emotions. Everybody feels anger, anger alone isn’t a sin. Continual anger, however, is. Do not let anger go unchecked, it will find excuses to legitimize itself, having you find more and more reasons to be angry. It’s a snowball effect. Let me talk to all my single ladies for a second and give an example, how often does a rejection by 1 male snowball into “All men are pigs.”
Whether it’s strife with the opposite gender, a machine that doesn’t want to cooperate, a school project that isn’t going as planned.. anger snowballs. “I’m never going to pass this test, I might as well just drop out.” Wait, seriously? Because you came across one little uphill battle, all of a sudden you want to quit entirely? Remember that internet argument you got in last week? At the time, the argument seemed like existence depended on it. But here you are, a week later, and you can’t even remember what the argument was about, who it was with, or who won the argument. Ask yourself, “Is this going to matter in a week?” Let alone, the very next day.
“But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.” [Colossians 3:8]
Anger has the power to make you throw your hands in the air and give up all good works, if you let it. Anger is a powerful emotion humans feel, it’s natural, but it’s incredibly dangerous when it goes unchecked. It will cause you to stumble, it will cause you to quit, and it will Harden your heart towards others. When you get angry, see it as an opportunity to learn to control it. God doesn’t hurt you to make you angry, the devil hurts you, you respond with anger, it’s then up to you if you want God to use the devils attack for his glory, for we know that God works in all things for his glory. He won’t stir your anger, but he will use those moments to help you grow, if you let him.
“Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper–it only leads to harm.” [Psalm 37:8]