This week at Bible study we had a discussion on what I wrote last week concerning the will, the mind and the emotions of the body. It soon came down to a discussion on the subject of “righteous anger”. I maintained there is no mention of righteous anger in the Word of God. This was agreed to but there continued to be a thought that there was a case for righteous anger.
In all discussions of course we have to go back to, what did Jesus say? [John 9:41-10:1] The Bible clearly tells us to be slow to anger and not to sin. [James 1:19]
God is slow to anger and abounding in love, should we not be the same? Psalm 145:8, again in Exodus 24:6 and in Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.”
In Proverbs 15:18 it tells us: A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. ...
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute. ...
Paul quoting in Ephesians 4:26 from Psalm 4:4 says; BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger.
In fact in Psalm 4:4 it says tremble and do not sin, but does not say BE angry. We can often tremble as something is done against us but it is when we start to speak that we may no longer control our emotions in that anger and then we start to sin.
When people get angry they try to justify that anger by quoting from John 2:15 that Jesus got angry so therefore why can’t I? But does it say He got angry, no in fact it says he was full of "Zeal" which fulfilled the prophecy in [Psalm 69:9] Even if He did get angry, we have to be careful not to place ourselves on the same level as God. Jesus was pulling God’s anger down from heaven to glorify God’s House, His dwelling place on earth, which should have been kept Holy. Is this not like our own bodies as we are now temples of the Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 6:19] and therefore be kept Holy as He is Holy? [Leviticus 11:44]
So I repeat, is there such a thing as ‘righteous anger’? Well I continue to say no. For there to be a righteous anger surely that righteousness must come from the One who is righteous and that must be the LORD Jesus, [Ezra 9:15] God on earth. So to be angry in a righteous way is saying that the righteous one must agree with you, yes? Well no, not according to the scriptures. James 1:20 reads: “Mans anger does not bring God’s righteousness”. [King James, the NKJ and the New American Standard Bible.] For us to say we are angry in the power of the Lord is not what the Word says, as this does not bring God’s righteousness, so therefore we must be getting angry in our own strength and - as some would put it - in our own righteousness.At times something happens in life and people say it is OK to get angry with God. Surely this is not righteous anger, as God I am sure would not get angry with Himself, would He?
So let us look at what Jesus said about anger. After all He is the final authority on the subject because of what He went through. Matthew 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca' is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
In light of this statement maybe we should stop and think before we allow our emotions of self-righteousness to take over our actions. Be upset, be annoyed, but angry? According to the scripture in Matthew, I have quoted above, the moment we open our minds and mouths in anger we are sinning.
Are we to allow ourselves to be walked over? We are to stand up for the truth but not in anger, as anger does not calm the situation. Proverbs15:18. There was one they walked all over and His name is Jesus. Did He complain? Did He go like a Lamb to the slaughter? Surely the entry into the next world is far more important than any anger we try to justify in this world. Remember the Words of Jesus in Matthew 18:21-22, when asked how many times must we forgive. Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. And as they crucified Him, Jesus forgave all; forgive them Father they know not what they do. [Luke 23:34] Surely these are the ancient words to live by in all situations, as His Word never changes. [1 Peter 1:25]