“Human anger doesn’t produce the holy life God wants”—James 1:20 (NIV).
As I write this, I’m taking deep breaths. My chest is tight. That’s what happens when I get angry. It’s not good for me, or anyone else, for that matter. However, righteous anger has led me to write this post. When I googled the number of scriptures about anger, the results varied.
However, in an article by Pastor Jeremiah David, he writes, “I surveyed the number of times the words anger, wrath, and indignation (in all their various forms) are used in the Bible, and the number is more than 600! True to its purposes, the Bible doesn’t hide the realities of life. Human beings have been prone to anger from the very beginning. Cain has the dubious distinction of being the first person in history to be angry with God—something that is not recommended (Genesis 4:5).”
He adds, “But here’s what may be a surprise: Not all anger is bad. Not every emotion of anger that rises from deep within you should be negated.”
Not all Anger is Bad
If you get angry when another passenger cuts you off in traffic and you respond by trying to run the other person off the road, that is called uncontrollable anger. It’s a lack of self-control—the kind of anger described in scriptures as a sin.
If your anger about the plight of innocent people who are suffering because of greed, power, or the selfish choices of others, leads to action that helps others, don’t stop. You’re not retaliating for an injustice to yourself but responding to what Pastor David calls “the violation of a righteous standard of God.”
Righteous anger is what drove me to my computer this morning. I needed to capture my thoughts and write what the Holy Spirit revealed to me this morning as I prayed.
Righteous Anger Can Lead to Good
The proliferation of name calling and finger pointing on social media has affected my spirit, leading me to unfollow people. My responses to their posts were leading me to write things out of anger—what I considered righteous anger. But it’s been affecting my mental and spiritual health.
Uplifting stories of people stepping up to help others led me to reevaluate my response to the negativity. Individuals and companies, including small businesses, have been reinventing or inventing ways to meet the needs of health care workers. They’re on the front lines of this pandemic. Keeping them well is imperative.
Also imperative is thinking of others before ourselves. Instead of hoarding supplies, we need to share. God will provide. Philippians 4:19 reminds us: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
Sharing with Others
Amazed by the ingenuity of others who can turn their talents and resources toward helping others led to introspection during my quiet time with the Lord this morning. What could I do?
Those who can sew are making masks. A man laid off from his IT job is using his 3-D printer to make face shields for healthcare workers. Businesses are retrofitting their machines to make respirators for hospitals short on supplies. And the list goes on.
What could I do? I don’t sew. I’m technologically challenged. My own health issues have made me cautious. I stay home as much as possible. As I prayed, the Holy Spirit reminded me of one of my spiritual gifts. I could use my wordsmith skills to encourage others. That still, small voice reminded me to let go of what I could not control and do what He has called me to do.
What We are Called to Do
On the day of His resurrection, Jesus first appears to Mary Magdalene and then later to two of the disciples who were leaving Jerusalem. Although the three had informed the other disciples, they still didn’t believe He had risen from the dead.
While the eleven were eating together that afternoon, Jesus appeared before them. Stunned, they listened as Jesus tells them “You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.”
During this time of uncertainty, that is what we should all be doing. Anger won’t solve the current situation. Sharing the Good News with others, teaching them we have a Mighty God who is the One in control. He loves us so much He gave His One and Only Son so we might have eternal life.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. (See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.) When she isn’t writing, she can be found spending time with her seven grandchildren, working in her yard, volunteering, shooting photos, hiking, going on mission trips and playing with her spoiled rotten dog, Harley.