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Monday, January 11, 2021

Anger (#2)

By Joe Slater

    Anger isn’t necessarily sinful. Jesus Himself became angry, but always with legitimate reason. For example, the hard hearts of His critics drew his anger in Mark 3:5. Asking, “Why am I angry?” helps me to determine whether my anger is righteous or sinful.
    Another question to ask is: “What fruit comes from my anger?” When Cain became angry (Genesis 4:1-8), he ended up murdering his brother! In Ephesus, the Diana-worshipers were “full of wrath” because Paul taught against idolatry (Acts 19:23-34). They rioted two solid hours!
    Jonah the prophet became angry when the Lord didn’t destroy Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria. He became even angrier when the plant that had been shading him withered. So he sat outside the city and pouted like a child! (See Jonah 4:1-8.)
    In Jesus’ parable of the lost son, the older brother became angry when the father celebrated the lost son’s return. He complained bitterly and refused to join in the festivities! (See Luke 15:28-30.)
    By contrast, Jesus’ anger produced good fruit. On both occasions when He cleansed the temple and drove out the money-changers and merchants, who can deny His anger? But He vindicated the holiness of the temple. Likewise when He denounced the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23), He was doing exactly what was needed! They deserved the scolding, and those who witnessed it learned about righteous indignation.
    Christians, above all others, ought to be outraged at ungodly behavior (abortion, racism, pornography, and others). That involves not only feelings, but appropriate actions to effect positive changes.
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com


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