©2008 Kimberly Hartfield
Anger is something I have been accused of lately, so I thought about some of the things that have made me angry over the years, and what kinds of things Jesus might be angry about as well. But let me tell you, there is a very thin line between righteous anger and some unrighteous behavior that follows with all of us that are human. Those of us who consider ourselves less than perfect can admit that we are angry people when someone steps across our God-given personal boundaries, but that does not excuse ungodly behavior, and does not forgo our need for personal responsibility and repentance. Jesus clearly told us, be angry, and sin not. But how do we actually do that? I’m still learning that one myself and pray that by God’s grace, I will someday learn how to be angry, but not sin. That being said, here are some of the things that I get angry about and that I believe Jesus would be angry about as well.
I get angry when I hear about children being beaten, microwaved, drowned in bathtubs, and thrown into rivers to drown. I get angry when little girls and boys are raped and molested by repeat pedophiles, who have been caught and let loose to do it again and again. I get angry when children have been ridiculed and called ugly names by parents or other important people in their lives. (I’ve been guilty of this one on a few occasions my self, Lord, please forgive me.)
I get angry when women, young and old alike are raped and even when some men are raped. I get angry when women are beaten into submission, spit on, and held at gunpoint by ungodly husbands. I get angry when women are shamefully treated and ridiculed, (for things like wanting to go to church and bring their children with them) and called everything but a child of God by their husbands (Christian or Not).
I get angry when babies are aborted, and when some, who are born alive, are not given nutrition, hydration, and medical care and left to die in a garbage pail. I get angry when people in high positions, like Obama, supports these types of measures. I get angry when our elderly people, who are about to die, are hurriedly finished off in the name of “comfort measures” and good Christians stand by and watch. (Now I differentiate between “extreme measures” and basic nutrition and hydration, which I believe is our Christian duty to give.)
I get angry when there is blatant segregation and prejudice still in our churches in this generation and when I try to help the next generation avoid these same mistakes in a class discussion, I get fired from a Christian School. (No freedom of speech here!) Please read my article Multiculturalism, Racism, and Prejudice in the Churches. I get angry when public school teachers are caught sleeping with their students and I get blackballed from taking education classes for bringing in a relevant newspaper article to help all the new teachers going into the field avoid this behavior. (No freedom of speech here either!)
I get angry when young girls get pregnant out of wedlock, and go to their parents for help and forgiveness and they get condemnation instead of loving support, and told to get an abortion to save face for their parents. I get angry when babies are born with all kinds of mental and health problems due to their mothers being on crack cocaine and other popular drugs. I get angry when people drive drunk and others pay for their sins with heartache for the rest of their lives or even death. I get angry when evil people sell these drugs and alcohol to children. I get angry when one person wins a ton of money from a casino and many others had to loose their homes, their livelihoods, and sometimes even their families to make that happen. I get angry when people in high political positions get these kinds of things legalized and won’t let the people vote on these important issues.
I get angry when supposedly Christian people lie about others to cover up their own greed and hypocrisy, like when they would put a single mother with two children out on the street for a few extra dollars of inheritance money, when they themselves already have a nice home and all they could ever need. I get angry when people are falsely accused of stealing from churches, when they only applied for a Katrina Recovery program with the Salvation Army, like many other people did, who were affected by Katrina. The Salvation Army could have just as easily turned down the application as granted it, but God chose for them to be blessed, and others are angry about that, and so accuse them of stealing from churches. (By the way, if you are able, please support the Salvation Army with donations of used or new items for their store or with money, as I do and have from time to time.) I have never taken any money from a church, though I have accepted a few personal gifts from individuals who were led to do so of their own accord, like when a lady overheard my youngest son, Joey, ask to go to McDonald’s after church and I told him we couldn’t because I had just given my last two dollars in the offering plate and she gave us $20 and told me to take my children to McDonald’s. (That was such a blessing!) Funny how that worked, I gave $2 and God gave $20. You always reap more than you sow!
I get angry when others who have good jobs, nice homes and cars, and land and wealth don’t tithe their full 10% to God and so steal from God. I get angry when we feel we must depend on the government to do the churches job of feeding and helping the poor, because of this. I get angry when I always do my best to tithe what little bit I have, (even my college refunds, which are loans that I will have to pay back) so as not to steal from God, and get accused of stealing from God. But in all honesty, I have missed a few tithes, here and there, so I guess that accusation may be true. It’s hard sometimes to tithe that $10 from the $100 dollar puppy sale, when there’s been little other income for quite a while, and not much food in the cabinet to feed your children. But I am trying to remedy this, and have tried to be more faithful as of late, and I have to say that God has not ever let us go hungry.
Jesus was angry when turning over the money changers’ tables in the temple because they were doing business in the house of God, and I’m sure, was accused by the Pharisees of being an angry person. Anger is a legitimate emotion, and there are times and places when we, as Christians, should get angry. We should get angry at the things Jesus would be angry at. God’s Word says that we should hate what is evil. But we need to be careful of crossing that line between legitimate anger and anger that is out of control and truly harmful to others. Others are so angry at me right now that they are willing to put my children and me out of our home to satisfy their vengeful and greedy hearts. I have found that the best way to defeat anger is to pray for those who treat you shamefully and with good clear boundaries, stay away from the unrepentant, who are actively trying to bring you harm. This is not to say we can’t reach out to sinners who are yet to be repentant, but to stay away from only those who actively oppose you. In other words, don’t cast your valuable pearls to swine and dogs. (Please read my review of Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend’s book, When to say Yes and when to say No!) So even anger has its place, and God’s anger will eventually turn to wrath on the unrepentant, when they are judged on the last Day. The only difference between the repentant sinner and the unrepentant sinner is that God send’s one to Heaven and the other to Hell. So if you’re angry like me, be angry and try to sin not! And believe that when we do sin, we have an advocate in Heaven with our Creator, that stands up and says, “This one is covered by the forgiveness My blood brings to the repentant.” May God have mercy on us all! God Bless!
Isaiah 30:1, 8-11
Woe to the obstinate children, declares the Lord, to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin…Go now, write it down for them, inscribe it on a book, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right!” Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off the path and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel.
Vile people speak evil things and their hearts work wickedness to practice hypocrisy and to speak error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The schemes of these schemers are evil, they devise wicked plans to destroy the poor with their lying words, even when the needy speaks what is right! But the righteous ones devise good things and by their righteousness they will stand.
- When are anger, abuse and violence good? (citesimon.com)