Anger is everywhere these days—people are angry about politics, about theological differences, about world events, about problems in their personal lives. Even the Bible contains many accounts of anger: God’s anger at sin, Moses’ anger at the Israelites’ disobedience; Jonah’s anger at God’s unfathomably mercy.
How do we make sense of the powerful emotion of anger in our lives? How do you tell the difference between anger that is godly, and anger that is sinful and destructive?
Here’s how RBC Ministries answers the question:
When monitoring our anger, it is important to understand that much of our anger is fueled by a hatred of injustice, whether real or perceived. Anger over injustice reflects the core longing for justice we all share. We are incensed when life seems unfair. We can know, however, if the anger we feel is sinful or godly by considering the provocation, goal, motivation, and timing of our anger.
Selfish anger is provoked when we believe we’ve been treated unjustly or unfairly. We want something, we don’t get it, we feel deprived, and now someone is going to pay for having treated us this way (James 4:1-4). […]
Conversely, godly anger is provoked in us when we witness persistent violations of God’s standards of justice (Psalm 119:53). There is an appropriate time to be outraged over those who hold God in contempt and mar the beauty of His creation.
Do you struggle with anger? How do you keep your anger confined to appropriate contexts?