Anger Management, Part 2

Jesus Christ, upon going into the Temple, found behavior forbidden in Scripture. He turned over the tables of the money changers and drove them out. Can you imagine Him doing this passively? Read the account and imagine what emotion might have been involved: John 2:14-17.

In reality there is in Christ that which would horrify the pacifist. He is our Physician, the lover of our souls, and the Prince of Peace, but He also abhors evil.

Can you picture Jesus as being angry? He was and so should you be — AT THE RIGHT TIME AND ABOUT THE PROPER THINGS.

The Bible teaches us of God’s anger. Note:

“His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life.” (Psalm 30:5)

“In that day you will say: ‘O Lord, I will praise You; Though you were angry with me, Your anger is turned away and You comfort me.” (Isaiah 2:11)

“He does not retain His anger forever…” (Micah 7:18)

“I will execute the fierceness of My anger…” (Hosea 11:9)

“But You are God … slow to anger…” (Nehemiah 9:17)

“Return to the Lord your God … For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger…” (Joel 2:13)

God does get angry and so should you. Don’t take that statement out of context, nor apply it apart from the way it is now to be developed.

Failure to become angry over evil is a sign of unlikeness to Christ. If the spirit of Christ is in us, we can’t stand passively watching wrong being heaped upon wrong.

Let’s group anger into two categories. One we will call ventilation and the other indignation. One is good, the other isn’t. One is characteristic of Christ and should be of us, the other isn’t a trait of our Lord and should not be of us.

Ventilation is a term used for improper anger, the losing of the temper, blow-up kind. This is wrong.

John 2 speaks of “rage and anger.”

“Rage” translates the Greek word “thumos” which refers to an inward feeling. It literally means to “get hot.”

“Anger” translates the Greek “orgizo” and signifies an actively expressed emotion.  If “rage” means to get hot, “anger” means to boil over.

This is an appeal to avoid letting something build up in you to a boiling stage and exploding. Avoid this by not being a collector of wrongs done to you. 

Next, three improper ways in which anger is expressed are noted. “Brawling” or “clamor” is one. It means screaming and crying. Don’t do it.  This can turn into “slander” or “evil speaking” where we defame someone. 

Character assignation then turns into “malice” which is a desire to injure a person. 

Jesus was moved by holy zeal. That is, He was zealous for the right thing to be done. That is the kind of anger we are to have. That is what the text means when it says, “Be angry and sin not.”

Indignation is a term for the feelings of Christ in the temple. It is a strong displeasure over unrighteousness. Indignation means you become incensed. When it is vented toward sin it is righteousness indignation and that is good.  As an expression of abhorrence of wrong in loyalty to the Lord it is right. 

Don’t rationalize your inclination toward all anger. Be angry and sin not. Jesus didn’t shed His blood on Calvary that you can go around spewing anger. He did it to save you, and give you the ability of self-control.