Anger: When is it right and when is it wrong? We’ve seen from the Bible that selfish anger is wrong. Anger directed at people rather than evil is wrong. Fast anger is wrong. And hot-tempered anger is wrong.
A friend commented that when anger interrupts or destroys relationships, then it is wrong, even if it seems justified. For example, you may have a boss or a coworker who makes you angry, and for good reasons. You may even feel justified in expressing that anger and trying to change the situation. But if your anger destroys that relationship so that you no longer are a witness to that person—either by your life or by your words—can that anger be justified?
That brings me to the next question: If our anger is justified, when and how do we express it? Jesus was very vocal when he expressed his anger toward evil. He was up front, out in the open, with no beating around the bush.
I think against the evils of our day, we have a responsibility and a right from God to openly and loudly proclaim our anger. Anger against abortion, against the garbage that is fed over television and movies, against the injustices in our society toward races and people—all of these and others deserve our anger. It should be expressed very verbally and directly, and in appropriate ways and times.
Quite frankly, this area of anger is easier to deal with than personal anger. How do we express anger over the things that have happened to us?
First, I would say, don’t express it quickly. This is hard to do because everything in us wants to express our anger right away. The anger I felt for a vendor who had caused me another problem was the strongest at the beginning, and I wanted to pick up the phone and get it off my chest right away. Thankfully, it was before office hours so I wasn’t able to do that.
It will take the power of the Holy Spirit in your life to keep you from expressing anger up front. If you tend to do that, make it a matter of prayer before you’re angry. Ask God to give you his control over your tendency to express your anger quickly. Memorize some of these verses on being slow to anger. If you’ll get prepared ahead of time, when the anger hits you’ll have something to fall back on to help you control that first burst of anger.