Monday, August 29, 2005

Godly anger

Jeff at anti-itch meditation considers Eph. 4:26 and godly anger. Do Christians believe anger is somehow inconsistent with the new nature? Well, Jesus certainly didn't seem to think so:
Read Matthew 23 and tell me Jesus wasn’t angry. Look at the cleansing of the temple, the cursing of the fig tree, the impatience with his slow disciples who ask about their seats in heaven instead of worrying about whether their seats will make it there to begin with.

Jesus had an underlying anger and frustration with life--yet He never sinned.

Boy do I feel that anger. Sin has messed up our world. God made this place beautiful and lovely, it was all good and stupid bonehead satan comes and ruins the place. He takes life and makes it miserable. He took nature and made it corrupt. He took God’s perfection and stained it.
There's a reason Jeff is feeling anger: his father is dealing with terminal cancer.


Blogger passthebread said...

In the Eph. passage 'Be angry and sin not" the better translation is "Be zealous and sin not. Don;t let the sun ever set on your zeal". The zeal is zeal against sin. In the Jesus cases, the term zeal describes Jesus' response better than anger. Anger for at least myself is almost always a self-centered means of defending myself or my agenda. Anger is the opposite of meekness. Jesus' anger never was a manigfestation of Jesus not getting His way or being selfish. Jesus' "anger" is zeal for the will of God. We have a saying in our church "leave the justifyable anger for those who can handle it". The assumption is we are far to prone to rationalization to incorporate this idea of righteous anger especially sinners like me. Never in all my ministry have a met a person who said he had righteous indignation who didn't actually just have plain anger. Never have I found it to be true holy zeal for the will of God.

For me anger is the #1 killer of the blessed life. Watch out.

1:12 PM, August 29, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Brad, and for dealing with the new word verification function. Peace

3:10 PM, August 29, 2005  
Blogger Lyn said...

Anger assumes a wrong has been committed. That is, when we perceive that something "ought not be" then we get angry at the injustice. Now, we can be self-decieved and become angry over a mistaken belief, in which case our anger is or can lead to sin. For example, being angry at God (for whatever reason) is a mistaken belief that God is unjust and therefore being angry at God is always a sin. Thoughts? lgp of ThoughtRenewal.Blogspot.Com

11:10 PM, August 29, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

That sounds reasonable to me, Lyn. And when we become angry, the anger need not be at a wrong done to us. We may become angry at child abuse or molestation, for example. I think if we didn't, there would be something wrong with us. The challenge, of course, is to be angry and not sin.

Many Christians, for a variety of reasons, are afraid of all anger. In a sense we should be. Anger is like fire or electricity---a good thing that spurs action, but when it runs outside its proper channels, can cause great harm.

7:15 AM, August 30, 2005  
Blogger John Schroeder said...

A very important issue for today. I've linked here.

8:09 AM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I look forward to reading it, John, and will leave comments at Blogotional. Peace.

10:59 AM, September 01, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok so I just gave my life over to Christ and do not know much accept the lessons God has taught me over the last 4 months one of which includes anger towards God. Ya see Lyn I thought that I was utterly in love with Jesus, well, I was until He started to show me things. Things I hated to see and I got angry, extremely angry with Him. Then I started to freak out because I thought my anger towards Him was really awful, then I spoke with someone wiser than myself who told me to start reading psalms. Boy alot of bible people sure were angry with God as well so does God want us denying our feelings towards Him and stuffing them down or does He want us being honest? Which one do you really think is sin?

12:00 AM, May 30, 2008  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Good questions, Anon.

I think God does not want us denying or stuffing down our feelings of anger with him. I honestly don't know if being angry with God is always a sin or not. But staying angry with God certainly is. If we confess our anger at God to God, he will help us deal with it and be at peace with him. For that reason, facing our anger with God can be, as it was for some of the prophets and psalmists in the OT, a first step in developing a deeper relationship with God.

Many Christians, I believe, are angry with God from time to time but out of fear refuse to acknowledge it. That situation is very bad for a number of reasons. It is a prescription for nurturing frustration, ineffectiveness, and dishonesty--all of those being greater sins, no doubt, than being angry with God and going into his presence to find peace with him.

Other Christians, I think, find it somehow daring or even fashionable to be angry at God. That's a bad situation, too. It's inevitable that we be from time to time angry with God. But we certainly shouldn't relish it.

It's impossible to have a close, honest relationship with anyone (even God) and not be angry with them sometimes. When our anger is directed at God, that's the time we most need to face up to it, bring it to God, and find the way of peace with him.

It's not easy opening our hearts to God and letting him re-order and remodel it. But it's worth the pain.

Please keep me posted on how your relationship with God is going, Anon.


8:22 AM, May 30, 2008  

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