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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: An Angry Discussion
By Janice Cartwright
08/07/07


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“Be angry!”

Excuse me?

I said, “Be angry. But don’t sin.”

Am I missing something here, Lord? Isn’t anger supposed to be a bad emotion?

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” Ec. 3:1

Yes, Lord. Thank you for reminding me.

---

In a feel-good society, set in context to a planet overrun by fear and rage, the broad impression is people need to avoid the dangerous emotion of anger. And to some extent both swings of this worldly pendulum have banged against opposing walls of our churches: Caustic Christian at the first sway, Gooey Godly across the room.

So what is the proper Christian take on the subject of anger? Should it rule the day, or do we rue the day we lost it? Is anger always an unlawful passion?

Let Jesus be our analyst and His word our instruction manual.

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." (Matthew 21:12-13 KJV)

There were other times when Jesus exhibited righteous indignation. To state it in broad categories, He could never abide sanctimonious, pompous, strutting pride, and He gave no quarter to the unrepentant abuser of little children or new converts.

Likewise our world is peopled by misdeeds and mind-sets that should make us good and mad. If not we have lost our salt and light; indeed we have turned tolerance to lethargy. The exploitation of the tender soul, the crushing of the innocent on minute or massive scale, gossip that can wreck a person’s life, and our own subtle smugness, are just a few of the offenses which should arouse a storm of passion in God’s progeny.

To be honest though, in the subjective sense we may not always find it easy to discern between self-serving ire and honorable fury. But with God all things are possible. Jesus stands before us both as our example and chronometer and the Holy Spirit wants to teach us all things, including when the time is ripe for righteous rage.

Its touchstone may be the daily news, or the broken countenance of a small child at home or down the street may set it off. Some places it probably won’t occur are in a traffic jam on our way to work, our bedroom when we are having a 'reasonable' discussion with our spouse, or at the office when we just got fired.

Of this we can be certain though: holy, appropriate anger will always have true and fervent love for our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus, and our neighbor at its core.

So go ahead, get mad! But don't sin.


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This article has been read 867 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart08/12/07
Excellent points brought out...this is a great devotional piece.
Dee Yoder 08/16/07
Yay, Janice! First place in Level 2! It's a wonderful devotional. I'm sorry I didn't get to read it right away this week, but it certainly does deserve the placing!
TJ Nickel08/16/07
Great writing. I enjoyed it because it wasn't fiction and was done so well. Great example here and congrats on the L2 win.
Jacquelyn Horne08/16/07
Wonderful devotional. Anger is not a sin. What we let that anger do to us leads to sin. Good pov here.

Congrats on the win!
Helen Murray08/16/07
About time! The world would like Christianity to remain feeble and tolerant. It was never so. Christians still have a voice which needs exercise! Well done Janice.
Linda Germain 08/17/07
BRAVO,Janice! I am a big supporter of righteous indignation. This was so well said. You're talent is speaking for itself. There's no stopping you now...:0)
Tracy Walshaw08/25/07
Thank you for the wake-up call! Hate to admit it, but I can remember few times when I have gotten angry knowing it was 100% righteous indignation, and MANY times when someone was just "getting on my nerves" or I was frustrated. It was all about ME. Because of what you wrote (and Jesus said!), I will make a new, improved effort to realize why I'm angry, and if it has nothing to do with our Lord, or the feelings of someone else, I will pray for the strength to let it go quickly. If it's truly righteous, I'll do what I can to make changes that would please the Lord. You really made a difference to me with what you wrote, and that's exactly why we write! Thanks!