Good anger and bad anger
Jesus the Champion of champions got angry, not for himself but because his Father’s place of prayer and worship was being misused as a shopping centre. He threw around the tables one day and drove everybody out of there.
Another time he had a go at the religious blokes who were making it hard for ordinary people to meet the Big Fella. This is what he said to them: ‘You Pharisees and teachers are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You’re like tombs that have been whitewashed. On the outside they are beautiful, but inside they are full of bones and filth. That’s what you are like. Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good’ (Matthew 23:27-28).
He showed that sometimes it is right to be angry. If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me because the way he does life is how we want to get it happening in our own lives.
The Work Manual has another great moment in the book called Ephesians and it goes like this: ‘Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry and don’t give the devil a chance.’ You’ve heard the saying: Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Sort it out or it will eat you out.
So anger is definitely in the Work Manual, and how and when and where it started, and how and when it is dealt with in the best way for everyone.
How do we know when we’re angry for the right reasons? One sergeant really made me angry big-time when he tried (and failed) to involve me in an unhealthy sexual encounter. I felt helpless at the time to stop others doing what he wanted. My anger built up to become hatred and total disrespect that I hid in my heart for a dozen years.
It was ‘righteous’ anger at first because what he wanted me to do was wrong. But it was also loaded, because I didn’t want to be in the army in the first place, and then I let it grow into something negative in my life. My anger from this event was not helping me to become the true champion over anger.
It took me a lot of sorting out to become the real-deal in this area. ‘Stuff’ held me back. However it certainly has helped me later in life to be able to help encourage others who have encountered similar battles to gaining freedom from anger. So if you’re starting to relate to any of my journey, then the champion within you is starting to rumble.
It’s OK to get angry! It’s how we sort out the stuff that comes out to bite from time to time that’s the battle.