Do you ever feel like a failure for getting angry? Do you feel like you should always be totally in control of yourself, only having happy, bubbly emotions? We often feel like a failure when we get angry; we feel like we’ve let God down in some way. However, God made us with every emotion we will ever experience. God expresses the full range of human emotion in the Bible and gets angry, jealous, joyful, sad, and he talks an awful lot about love. Since God gets angry, there is a right and good way to use anger.
Angry Without Sin
In Ephesians 4.26-27, it says, “be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” So, like God is angry without sin, we must learn to use our anger to bring about good things.
When Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, he was furious. He made a whip and used it on animals and merchants; he turned over tables, scattering money, papers, and people everywhere. Did Jesus sin because he was angry? No, because his anger was righteous.
What makes anger righteous? Jesus was angry because people were mistreating God. While in human form, Jesus expected to be treated like a human. He came as a suffering servant and allowed people to push him around, say bad things about him, beat him up, and ultimately crucify him. However, he wouldn’t stand by and watch people dishonor holy things: both God and the temple where the Spirit dwelled.
Jesus also stood up for those who are helpless. In Mark 3:5, Jesus was angry because the religious leaders missed treated the most vulnerable. There was a man with a paralyzed arm, and the religious leaders would do nothing to help him. In the ancient world, a situation like this almost insured poverty, sickness, and untimely death. When Jesus saw the hardness of their hearts and their unwillingness to help, it made him angry.
Being Angry to Bring about Good
Whenever Jesus is angry, his anger leads to action. God gives us anger so we will do something about injustice or unrighteousness in the world. If you see someone being mistreated, if you see someone in need not getting help, then it should make you angry. But don’t let the sun go down on that anger – do something about it. Stand up for those who are helpless, help up those who are in need, and speak up when you can defend someone.
God has given us our anger so that we will do good things. Let’s honor God with all our emotions and use our anger to drive us forward into righteous action. May God bless us and guide us as we seek to love him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength – even our anger.