Anger is a gift when we use it properly.
Righteous anger can motivate us and empower us to have the courage to seek to change things that are not right and to bring about healing in our relationships and for those who are mistreated in the world. We can do this in the power of God’s Spirit in ways that don’t lead to sinful anger or sinful jealousy in our hearts. However, we must just be very cautious because it is very easy to be tempted into sinful jealousy and sinful anger that would be destructive.
It is so easy to allow righteous anger to turn into toxic bitterness or motivation for revenge.
Sinful jealousy and anger:
- is motivated by selfishness
- dishonors God
- lashes out to cause pain to others
- causes us to tear down others with our own attitudes, actions, words, and behavior
- gives us the boldness to sin against others
- causes us to justify sin in our hearts
- holds onto resentment and bitterness
- will not forgive
- takes vengeance for itself
- results in hatred for people rather than hatred for sin
Healthy jealousy and anger:
- is motivated by agape love (I Corinthians 13:4-8a)
- wants to see relationships restored and reconciled
- wants to honor God
- hates all sin
- loves people with God’s love
- hates for people to be hurt in any way
- has compassion on the suffering of others
- hates to see relationships torn apart and destroyed
- gives us the power and boldness of God’s Spirit to seek to bring about godly change
- gives us the courage to speak out against wrong and sin
- confronts sin in at appropriate times in godly ways
- offers grace, kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness when an offender repents
- forgives even when the offender does not repent, even though godly anger may not trust that person again until he/she repents and shows they are changing.
- does not hold on to resentment or bitterness
- rejoices when true repentance occurs
- wants the best for the other person
- wants the other person to experience the treasure, peace, and joy of Christ
- leaves the hurt, pain, and wrong in God’s hands and trusts God to avenge in the best timing and in the best way