When Is Anger Right?
“It’s okay to get mad when someone is not following God’s rules,” says Talon, 6. “Like if someone steals a toy from another person, it’s okay to get mad. The angry feeling can help you do something to make things better.”
At six years old, Talon has given us a nugget. Righteous anger will motivate us to do something to make things better. Sinful anger will always make things worse.
“Jesus was angry when he drove moneychangers out of the temple,” says Madalyne, 11. “This was righteous anger. It is okay to get angry if we know something is wrong, and the people who are doing it know it is wrong, too.
“If someone lies, for example, we have the right to be angry at him or her. But we should also remember that we have lied in the past and not be harder on them than we are on our self.
“You should not correct someone for doing a wrong thing if you have done the same thing or something else wrong and not resolved it. If you have done so, then first resolve it before correcting your friend.
“Yes, it’s okay to be angry, but only when you yourself have resolved your own problems, which could cause others to be angry at you! Otherwise, let someone who has resolved their problems handle it, and (you) handle your own problem.”
Jesus spoke of removing the plank from your own eye before you try to remove a speck from someone else’s eye. Don’t be a hypocrite (Luke 6:41-42).
Fear of appearing self-righteous or being called a hypocrite shouldn’t make us passive in the face of obvious injustice.
“When Martin Luther King Jr. fought for civil rights, he was angry because blacks were not treated equally back then,” says Nathaniel, 8. “But sadly, he was shot. That is one of the times that it is good to get angry.”
The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). He also wrote: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:14-15).
Every Christian lives in a world full of injustice. Our call is to love and bless those who persecute us unjustly. At the same time, we are to be people of compassion in rejoicing with those who rejoice when justice is served and weeping with those who weep when people suffer from injustice. We should be first to speak up for those who suffer unjustly, and at the same time be willing to bless those who unjustly persecute us for Christ’s sake.
“When we get angry for a good reason, we must be sure that our anger only targets sinful behavior and true injustice, is properly controlled and does not last for a long time or turn into bitterness,” says Alice, 12.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “’Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27).
Think about this: Jesus got angry when he encountered those who used his father’s house for personal gain (John 2:12-17). He also got angry at the hardness of heart that religious leaders showed when they tried to trap him (Mark 3:4-6).
Memorize this truth: Ephesians 4:26-27 quoted above.
Ask this question: Do you get angry at the things that made Jesus angry?
Carey Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and website developer. To see Carey's Kid TV Interviews and more, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. The Kids Talk About God website contains free, online content for children and families. Print free lessons from the "Kids Color Me Bible" and make your own book. Watch for free the adventures of an 11-year-old girl traveling around the world, visiting missionaries in the Mission Explorers Streaming Video. Print Bible pictures drawn by kids that illustrate Scripture verses. Receive a complimentary, weekly e-mail subscription to our Devotional Bible Lessons.
Bible quotations in this column are from the New King James Version.
Copyright 2009 Carey Kinsolving