Biblical anger is not bad.
October 4, 2013
This was an old post that I re-read and thought it was worth passing along again. I know I needed to be reminded of it. I am 10 months removed from this post and ALOT has happened and I still don’t have answers to so many questions, but I do know that my God still loves me, cares for me and is there by my side. I am grateful for a loving and caring wife and children, Godly friends and a caring family.
Biblical anger is not bad.
As I have been working thru different emotions for months on end, one begins to wonder if any of these emotions are legitimate. A friend suggested a book that has been a blessing and a challenge all at once. When speaking on anger the writer suggests that anger can be good or bad, helpful or harmful. There are just and unselfish reasons for anger. There is anger when someone is misused or abused, or anger over an injustice done to you or a family member. This is valid anger with reasons for just demands, and it deserves careful reflection and purposeful expression.
But anger in itself-a normal, truly human emotion-is a morally neutral source of human energy, arousal, and excitement. Biblical anger is not bad. Anger can be harmful to us-physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. But it may be transformative, regenerative, and renewing-in reforming a person, in driving him to shake off slaveries, in inspiring him to risk new possibilities, in empowering him to attempt new goals and make something new of his life. (The New Freedom of Forgiveness).
Disciplined anger, I have learned, can be both dynamic and potent. There is a place in the soul for such anger. Biblical anger is not bad, as long as the motives are pure .If we don’t feel deeply, care passionately, or speak for what is right, about injustice, when “anything goes”, when everything is tolerated, then all is lost. Disciplined anger focuses its demands on what is just and on what is good.
For months, early on, I was anger, bitter, confused and felt my world was spinning recklessly out of control. So many around me, who had walked with the Lord more years than I had even lived, were angry, hurt and bitter. They were hurt for me and my family first and foremost, but in the end, they were all angry at the injustice, un-Christlike behavior, and mean spirited actions of those in leadership position at the church they had so loved. There were times I questioned my emotions and feelings. I was, and still am, so hurt by those who I had loved so much. How could they cover up what they did to me and cover up their own lies to not look bad? Then I realized I could not do anything about what they had done to me and my precious family. That did not mean I didn’t have a right to be angry and mad. To deny these feelings and emotions, would be a lie to myself and others. Why would I be the only one to not be mad, upset and angry? Why would the one who had been lied one, mistreated and hurt at the deepest core possible not be mad? What I learned was anger, initially, was okay, but how I dealt with the anger would be a true test of my love and devotion to my Lord.
We are to use anger and not let it use us. We are to live out the depths of our thoughts and feelings. We are not to let them live our life for us. I knew I needed to learn to be reflective in how I responded and not reflexively as a reactor.
I often wondered how those who saw the injustice and were confronted with it, could just sit by passively. They had seen what was done, knew it to be true (even admitted it), but chose to do nothing. What I learned is that more and more people in our society and unfortunately in our churches, sit by as injustices are done and never step in. How many churches and believers have never reacted, become angry or lifted one finger for the cause of abortions, gay lifestyles, and other moral issues? Too many have become complacent, compliant, and confluent. They have forgotten how to be indignant! Too many people have learned to settle for what is. When they see evil and injustice, they are pained, but not revolted. They mumble, but rarely cry out. They sin by omission by not becoming angry.
My days are better than they were months ago. God’s penetrating word, his soft voice, Godly advice from men and women who walk daily with the Lord and the love of my family has moved my many steps forward. While most days are no longer filled with anger, there are days when certain names or reflections cause raw and real emotions of hurt and anger. When I see the DEEP and PAINFUL hurt in the eyes and feelings of my sweet and caring wife I am moved beyond words. Why would God allow such hurt to be placed on one so innocent and sweet as her? Why would my children be so hurt for no reason of their own?
Then I am reminded of something I read months ago. If you find yourself in a difficult and trying situation, know that God either placed you there or allowed you to be there for His purpose for reasons you may never know or understand. I hold to that, since I know it to be Biblically and personally true. God has a purpose and plan for this deep and lasting hurt and I may never know what it is. As a pastor friend told me, quit asking why, but what next Lord.
I bless the Lord for His word and for His movement in my life. May I be found obedient in all I say, think and do for His glory!