Some things are simply not okay. And anger is the emotion of injustice. While it’s very easy to slip into vengeance, there is still a place for righteous anger.
For instance, it’s more than appropriate to express anger whenever the dignity of God’s image bearers is violated. When we see our neighbor mistreated and abused, beaten up by evil and left to die – we do well to get angry.
And it’s only right to do everything in our power to correct these injustices.
Righteous anger is concerned with correcting those things that go against the heart of God.
This is not simply being mad because our personal preferences or desires haven’t been met. While this anger is understandable, it’s not necessarily righteous.
At the same time, righteous anger is focused on bringing true good to the situation. It’s not focused merely on satisfying our own ego desires.
With all this being said, it’s not easy to practice. We’re a mixed bag of motivations.
We’re objectively angry at the presence of evil AND we’re personally upset. We want true goodness and justice to be served AND we want a personal satisfying taste of that now.
And our expressions can also swing.
In our zeal to correct the situation we can become rash and bring more harm than good.
But we play the coward when our silence and inaction refuses to actively resist evil, perhaps choosing instead to focus on our personal grievances rather than the larger issues of injustice in God’s kingdom.
In the end, righteous anger points us back to the standards of God and not merely the laws and sensibilities of man.
This is not to justify reckless and lawless behavior. But it does remind us we’re first citizens of heaven and that our first duty is to the law of love.
Let’s be rightly angry whenever love is not evident among us. And inasmuch as depends on us, let’s use this anger diligently and relentlessly to restore our love for each other.
Be angry in the face of injustice. And use this anger to motivate you to acts of goodness. This is righteous anger – passionately restoring God’s standards of love.