I have often heard Christians speak about "righteous" anger. This is used to justify getting mad about evil in the world and at its extreme to justify killing a doctor who performs abortions. The only problem with this "righteous" anger...it's not in the Bible. People often point to Jesus' cleansing of the Temple and said He was angry when He did that. I would encourage you to carefully read the passages about clearing the Temple and tell me if the Bible says Jesus was angry. We actually read anger into it because we think that would be the emotion of the day. Certainly, Jesus was broken-hearted to see the Temple become nothing more than a market and a place to make money. However, the Bible never says Jesus ever got angry about it.
I once did a study by reading every passage in the Bible which spoke about Man's anger versus God's anger. The findings were eye-opening. I will not go into details into what I found, but suggest you do the same thing. It will cause you to reconsider how you look at anger. There just weren't many examples of mankind's anger being something that God affirmed. Most of the time, our anger leads to destruction and pain.
Why am I bringing all of this up in this Sip? Well, last week, there was a fatality on our freeway caused by "Road Rage". Simply put, two drivers pushed each other until it lead to the death of one driver. Apparently the driver that was the most angry was the one who was killed in the accident as he pulled in front of the other vehicle and slammed on the brakes. I have to confess that this was a wake-up call for me. I don't have the greatest patience when driving and get easily annoyed at drivers who are not paying attention. I now pause and think about what the other person's reaction may be to my driving. It's been kind of humbling to do that because I realize I am not the most polite driver on the road. This is a reminder that we never know what kind of anger someone has boiling up inside of them.
After my study of anger from the Bible, I have concluded that mankind's anger is sin. Many people disagree with me, but I am hard pressed to find anything good in my own anger regardless of the cause. However, God knows that we are given to anger. In Ephesians 4:26, we are reminded to not sin in our anger. The next line gives us a time frame for our anger: Get rid of it before the sun goes down. I guess if we want to be anger for a longer period of time, get angry at the beginning of the day and then we can stay mad all day. Verse 27 gives the reason for this: Anger gives the devil a foothold. ALL anger...righteous and unrighteous. Any anger allows Satan for feed us lies. Yet, anger can tell us more about our own spiritual condition than it tells us about the other person.
So what's up with your anger? How are you handling it? Only God can give us cleansing and victory over anger. We must stop trying to justify our anger and own our anger. What sin in our lives has caused us to get angry? What selfish trip are we on this time? By owning the problem, we can allow God to heal it. Then we will be refreshed and able to help others feel loved in the same way Christ has loved us.