By Rhoda Collins
When it comes to anger, there are two kinds… righteous and unrighteous. We’re allowed and even commanded to be angry at certain people and things.
God reveals to us examples of righteous anger in Exodus 4:14; 22:21-24: 32:10; Deuteronomy 6:14-15; Judges 2:13-14; Ezra 8:22; and Numbers 11:1, 10; 12:9.
“God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.” Psalm 7:11
We see anger from Jesus in Matthew 16:23; Chapter 23; Mark 3:5; and John 2:13-22.
In Galatians 2 we see Paul’s anger when he rebukes Peter for hypocrisy.
When our anger is Godly, it is not only holy, it is expected that we show anger towards unrighteousness! Holy anger from us is expected against false leaders; false teaching; attacks against the innocent (i.e. persecution against Christians).
God will back us up when we exercise righteous anger under our authority as children of God; joint-heirs with Christ and royal priests (Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 2:9).
““Be angry (righteous), and do not sin”” Ephesians 4:26a
But, when we have unrighteous anger, we have to quickly recognize it as a sin and repent before it develops roots. This kind of anger can grow roots that lead to bitterness; unforgiveness; slander; jealousy; stealing; adultery; evil spirit intrusion and/or God’s wrath. AND LOSS OF SALVATION!
“Cease from anger (unrighteous), and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.” Psalm 37:8
Unrighteous anger almost cost me dearly, but I learned a valuable lesson in the process: the enemy will use our bitterness and refusal to forgive, in order to steal our peace and joy.
We need to make a deliberate effort to forgive people who hurt us. Then we may receive God’s peace and go on with our lives. It is what God expects from his children.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger (unrighteous), clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
““And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.” Mark 11:25-26
One great testimony on anger and on the importance of forgiveness comes from a pastor in the movie “The Lazarus Phenomenon”, that testifies of when he was dead for four days before God resurrected him.
This pastor accidently died. He died with unrighteous anger towards his wife and held bitterness in his heart toward her. He was taken to heaven and hell. He marveled at the awesomeness of the sights in Heaven; flowers singing melodies, etc. He was also taken by an angel to hell, where he was horrified by what he saw. The angel said to him; “If you were to die today, this would be your lot”. The pastor said, “How can this be? I am a pastor”. The angel said, “That doesn’t matter. Anyone who harbors bitterness in their heart, will not enter the kingdom of God”. He was raised from the dead (all on film) to testify to what happened to him.
Unrighteous anger, with its roots, can bury deep into our lives, destroying us. Only the love of God can combat pain and bitterness in our hearts. And without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we won’t be able to fully destroy these evil roots.
Make an effort to stop unrighteous anger and dig up and destroy all evil roots out of your life.
Ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help you, when you’re having difficulty with unrighteous anger, and its many evil roots, such as unforgiveness and bitterness.
Let roots of righteousness and God’s love spread deep in your life. These holy roots will choke off any unrighteous roots from forming or that may still exist.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” Matthew 6:33a
We need to be sure that any anger that we exhibit, is justified by God.