Is it okay to exhibit anger for a good cause?


By BibleAsk Team

Anger for a Good Cause

Many Christians who believe in Christ’s perfect example also think that getting angry is not sin because Jesus also exhibited righteous anger at the temple once. But there is a difference between rightouss anger and unjustified anger that is not moved by the Holy Spirit. The second kind of anger is what Christians should avoid and resist by the grace of God.

The Bible teaches that even a just cause for anger is not an excuse for an unrighteous action. Patience under injustice brings divine approval. “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God” (1 Peter 2:19-20).

An individual who cheerfully does his daily duties in life might, at times, may face persecution as a result of his faith, but should do so uncomplainingly. “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 2:19-20; 3:17). Satan—not God—is the author of suffering (Job 42:5; Psalms 38:3; 39:9; James 1:2–5, 13). But God knows when suffering is needed for the development of character, and therefore permits it to come (Hebrews 2:9).

Righteous anger should not lead to revenge. Paul explains that by avenging ourselves we “give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). Those who are filled with thoughts of revenge are giving Satan the opportunity to inspire them with anger, hatred, and bitterness. Instead, such people should be encouraging the growth of the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, and long-suffering (Galatians 5:22). This is often best achieved by allowing time or space for our anger to cool and calm thinking to take place.

Under certain circumstances anger may be fully justified, but it is to be directed against the sin rather than the sinner. It’s okay to be angry if you don’t sin in the process (Ephesians 4:26). But this is often very difficult to do and some people find it easier to control the anger before it escalates. Indignation disqualifies us from impartial judgment (Matthew 7:1, 2) and therefore can pave the way for sin.

Vengeance and retribution belong to God alone (Romans 12:19). He alone has the wisdom to weigh out justice and add mercy. We are never to try to seek revenge upon those who treat us unfairly; we should leave the matter with God. Only a perfect, all-knowing, all-loving God can rightly punish the wicked.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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