Dec 20 2011
Please Don't Get Offended By This Thing About Not Getting Offended. Thanks.

 

(Today, on the show, we talked about this. And if I'm wrong here - I can always be glaringly, spectacularly wrong - please tell me how.  I should note here I write as someone who wants to follow Jesus's example in how he dealt with people, and as someone who believes God uses the Bible to instruct us with wisdom.  Without that as a background, the following will make no sense.)

 

 

You're not allowed to be angry.

I'm serious.  You're not allowed.  

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I don't think lots of people agree with me on this.  I sense this, because tons of people say, "I don't agree with you on this."  I've got antennae for subtlety like that.  I pick up on things.

Typical:  This entry from something called "Nehemiah Notes", an online devotional, dealing with anger.  The writer gives what I think is the reigning understanding:  Anger's pretty dadgum good, sometimes:

There is also a positive, even essential, side to anger. I doubt that we ever accomplish anything fruitful when anger isn't part of our motivation, on a certain level at least.

We don't ever accomplish anything fruitful without anger?  WOW, devotional-writer dude.  

Here's another example of how we retrofit actual scripture with our current embrace of anger-culture:

Ephesians 4 (NIV translation)

"In your anger do not sin" Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold

Ephesians 4 (The Message paraphrase version)

Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry--but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. 

Did you catch that? I like Eugene Peterson - the guy who wrote The Message - but... sheesh. "You do well to be angry"?  

That ain't in the original, folks.  That's the updated version, hope you like it better. 

Remarkably, Peterson does this, knowing that just a couple sentences later, Paul says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger".  Get rid.  All.  Anger.  From this, we get, "You do well to be angry"? 

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But doesn't God get angry?  Doesn't Jesus get angry?  Well, in a word:  Yep.  

God is "allowed" anger, yes.  And other things, too, which we're not.  Like vengeance.  That's His, and it makes sense, too that we're not allowed vengeance. We stand as guilty as whomever is the target of our anger.  But God?  He doesn't.

For that matter, God is allowed to judge, too.

God loves you, but you're not God.

We positively love "righteous anger".  The operational definition of "righteous anger", for me, of course, is the anger that I, Brant Hansen, feel, usually because I'm ticked that somebody done me wrong.  It helps that we humans are experts at casting ourselves as victims, and re-writing narratives that put us in the center of injustices.  And we can re-paint our anger or hatred of someone, like, say, a President, into a righteous-looking work of art.  And yet, in Jesus' teaching, there is no allowance for "Okay, well, if someone really is a jerk..."  

We're flat-out told to forgive, even - especially! - the stuff that's legitimately maddening, and legitimately offensive.  That's the whole point.

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Anger is very easy.  Love is very difficult.  Upon hearing my ideas on anger, I was asked, today, "I don't get it.  Shouldn't we be angry at those guys in the news who beat up homeless people?" 

But here's what I think, given that we're to "get rid of all anger":  We're to truly grieve this stuff, and be motivated to pursue justice, and to defend the vulnerable.  

Seek justice, love mercy.  You don't have to be angry to do that.  In fact, the best soldiers don't function out of anger. Neither do the best police.

The problem with anger:  According to the radical teaching of Jesus, I stand as guilty, morally, as any other sinner, period.  I asked the guy, "How long do you think you're allowed to keep this anger?"  He said something like, "You can keep it for a little while."

We can keep it awhile.  Sounds...reasonable.  Sure.  Absolutely.  But mere seemingly "reasonable" isn't what we're going for here.  We want to follow the Gospel, wherever it takes us.

In Proverbs, anger is always -- not sometimes, always -- associated with foolishness, not wisdom.  The writer recognizes that anger may visit us, but when anger finds a residence, it's "in the lap of fools." 

Harboring "justified" anger, towards a political figure, a news network, your dumb neighbor, your lying spouse, your deceased father -- whomever -- is perfectly natural, and perfectly foolish.

And foolishness destroys.

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I get angry.  Can't avoid it.  But anger can't stay here.  I can't try it on.  I have to take it to the Cracks of Doom, like, NOW, and drop that thing, much as I want to wear it awhile.   This silly LotR analogy breaks down quickly, though.  

There's not a single, hyper-destructive "One Ring".  

There's like...six billion.

Drop yours.

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Comments (53) -

12/20/2011 8:35:29 PM
Joseph Broseph (the other) United States
Joseph Broseph (the other)
Wow... what an awesome way to think about this...
12/20/2011 8:41:44 PM
JennH United States
JennH
Brant, that was awesome. Thank you for an fresh perspective on that because your right, "We love righteous anger." and I am definitely guilty of that. Thanks for giving me something to think about. Btw, I love your blog. Your sarcastic, witty and spot on.
12/20/2011 8:58:08 PM
Patty United States
Patty
I agree for the most part that we need to rid ourselves of anger. However, James 1 says we need to be slow to anger. Ephesians 4:26 says that when we are angry, don't sin.

True, almost all of anger has to do with us--our selfish desires or hurt feelings. However, I do see "righteous anger" as in being angry with something that hurts others or is against God and we need to take action. For example, human trafficking angers me. I need to be a part of the solution of this horrible problem. I have to love everyone involved and be forgiving, but I need to take a stand.

I become angry when I find out a child is abused. God doesn't want me to go beat up the person abusing the child, but I need to seek God and His wisdom to know how to appropriately respond.

The righteous anger has to do with being angry with situations, while extending love and forgiveness to all who are involved.

We need to be slow to anger so as we can take time to allow God to show us what our response should be.

Thanks for bringing up such topics. We all need to be challenged--iron sharpening iron.
Thanks for all you do!

12/20/2011 8:59:42 PM
Brendt Waters United States
Brendt Waters
I'm going to be incredibly concise (for me, anyway).

Ready?

You're right.
12/20/2011 9:10:11 PM
Kari K United States
Kari K
This is such a challenging standard to maintain in our lives, but I believe you're absolutely right.  The way I see it, we have either two options when it comes to dealing with anger:
1. Let it FESTER-- Allow Satan to have a foothold in our life through emotional vulnerability.  Let him manipulate us like puppets, pulling the strings of our bitterness to get us so wrapped up in self-pity and a need for vindication that we lose sight of the fact that WE. ALL. FALL. SHORT.

...or...
2. Let it GO-- Use that anger as a reminder of just how much and how frequently we need God in every area of our lives.  Express your outrage or desire for justice by communicating with Him.  Leave it on the cross...He already died to take our burdens from us, and yet, so often we still try to carry them with us.

It's not easy, by any means.  Lately, God has been tearing away at my defenses and showing me that the only way to truly let go is to let Him.

Just as important, "if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive YOUR sins." Matthew 6:15

Why should we expect what we're unwilling to give?

Thanks for this post, Brant, and for all of your insights.  You're a blessing.
12/20/2011 9:29:05 PM
Karen M. United States
Karen M.
I think I get what you are saying, and I agree we are to let go of our anger that is directed toward people, maybe even circumstances. However, I also believe there is a time for justifiable anger, as long as it is handled in a healthy way...perhaps to "spur" someone toward positive change. I recall the first time I learned about partial-birth abortion. I was grieved, repulsed and angered over it. I was not angry at abortionists or the women who were ending the lives of their babies, but I was angry over the gruesomeness and casual thought that goes into such an act against a precious life. I remember being in tears over it and crying out to God, imagining how He must surely grieve over it more than I. It moved me to take action on my knees; and then to get involved. I now work for a Christian agency that ministers to children & their families through providing foster care, adoptions, pregnancy counseling, parenting services, and family counseling. We strive to model the compassion of Christ in helping to restore families and teaching them the value God has placed on each life. In this respect, my anger toward a grievous act moved me to something God-honoring. Even so, as to your argument, I still had to give that anger over to God to allow Him to work in me to get me to where I am today. I guess it is all in how we respond.
12/20/2011 9:31:19 PM
Bret United States
Bret
Hi Brant, and thank you for your insights.

On this, I think I will disagree with you, though I can unflinchingly agree with most of what you have written above. Patty pretty much said some of what I was thinking, so I won't repeat that.

I personally regard emotions as a media for our soul, that can be used for good or bad, and some used for bad more often than others. (lust anyone?)

But I do think we have a choice to use all emotions for good, and to respond with the proper emotions and actions due to them.

I speak as a person God changed. I was once, when not a Christian, very fiery, and quick to anger, and I abused it to the highest degree. I literally fought physically with others on an almost daily basis.

When God came into my life, He changed this. Immediately. He made me slow to anger, and made it painstakingly clear to me the difference between my selfish, arrogant, ignorant, prideful, and foolish anger, and taught me about sinless use of anger.

I also think I agree with Paul that one ought to put away anger. It's hard to control. It would be better for our brothers ans sisters to avoid anger completely than to be guilty of it's misuse.

These are just my thoughts and experiences. Please regard them, so that you will question and strengthen your own beliefs, I'm not trying to change your mind.

Ciao Smile
12/20/2011 9:36:05 PM
Adam United States
Adam
I have to agree with Patty.
Most times people get angry it isn't just anger, it is that guy looked at me funny I want to kill him.  However there are things it is good to be angry at, things it is good to hate.  Take for example your sinful nature.  The fact you mess up when all you want to do is do what is right, should make you angry and should fuel your determination to stop that side of yourself.  Some would also argue anger is justified at Satan, but that is an entirely new topic.
What Paul is saying is that it is bad to be angry if it causes sin or divides the body of Christ.
12/20/2011 11:37:48 PM
coleen United States
coleen
Brant.. You are the one person who my 6 year old boy will listen to ... he has been labled as "autistic.... atypical" etc... but when you come on the air, we both laugh and agree with all that you say... so clearly, he is brillant, he just isn't super great at getting his words out! I am a medical professional who assists in tracheotomies!
12/21/2011 1:16:05 AM
Bethany United States
Bethany
I agree... and I don't.

I think anger held in, or spit out to exact revenge is definitely sinful. I think anger denied is problematic. I think that 99.9% of the anger Christians experience is sinful - because only 0.01% is experienced in the moment, the rest is carried from one moment to the next.

Anger is a basic emotion - kind of like a primary color - that isn't screwed up until we add something impure to it. Jesus' anger in the temple was sinless because He is Jesus and because it wasn't colored by anything unwholesome like selfishness, vanity, pride, etc.

Most humans can't do anger without adding sin to it. That doesn't make anger wrong, it makes us fallen.
12/21/2011 1:23:21 AM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
What Patty, Kari, Karen, and Bret said.
12/21/2011 3:08:26 AM
Ed Cyzewski United States
Ed Cyzewski
Good word today Brant. My pastor once said that anger demands a right, which would back up your point that we should not allow anger to remain. I appreciate the way you separated anger from grief. That gives some helpful categories for us to move forward.
12/21/2011 3:20:59 AM
Larry Lund United States
Larry Lund
Okay, okay, I get it.  But what I don't get, and it's really starting to make me angry, is: Who's the guy at the top of the page with the long hair?
12/21/2011 4:19:05 AM
Stacy United States
Stacy
Brant,
I was so excited to see you write about this. I've been saying this for years. I don't understand the concept of "righteous anger" - I'm not righteous, are you? (Romans 3:10 says no one is.) The other argument is Jesus in the Temple... he threw over tables and whipped people seemingly out of anger and he was without sin... so therefore it is okay for me to get angry and I can do so without sin. Problem being... I'm not the Son of God and I can't breathe a moment of my day without sinning let alone allowing my emotions to rule my actions, thoughts, and words. I think you're 100% right (well, more than like 96% because no one is perfect haha)we are to be known for our love not our anger. Too many times Christians are known for what they are against (Abortion, Gay-marriage, new taxes, etc.) and not what they are for. May we be a people who are known for forgiveness, justice, life, and unconditional love.
12/21/2011 7:34:05 AM
Sherrie United States
Sherrie
Thanks Brant,
As always, I agree with you and love your blog.
Great topic!
12/21/2011 7:41:36 AM
Elisa United States
Elisa
I agree that we are not to let anger fester. Anger can develope into hatred and a desire to hurt the one you are angry at. But I do not agree that we are not allowed to get angry. We get angry, you said it yourself, we really honestly can not help it, but we can and are commanded control what comes out of our anger. If someone hurts us, most of us (Me) are goig to get angry, but that is ot the sin. It becomes a sin if I do not forgive that person and let go of my anger. It is a sin if I use my anger to hurt the person back. But simply to flareup with anger inside, but then to let it go without taking action on it, I don't believe is a sin.
12/21/2011 7:43:24 AM
Elisa United States
Elisa
Two comments, I couldn't get them to post as one. I don't agree that 'you do well tobe angry' in most cases. But there is such a thing as righteous anger. Who can hear of slavery or imprisonmet of Christians, or the abortion of babies ad not feel at least a little angry, but again it is what we do with our anger. If we let our anger turn to hatred and attempt to punish the offeders ourselves, we have sined. But if we use our love for the people being hurt to start an outreach to help them, we have done well.
Also it is interesting that if you are angry or you hate someon, that is because you love someone else. Normally it is you, ad I believe that is the kind of anger that is most likely to end in sin. But when ou are angry for the sake or others, though it is still wrong to take revege on them, I think that is more righteous anger, ad that can be used to drive us to help free those being hurt.
Thanks Brant for all you do, just wanted to get my view out there, but I'm not offended.
12/21/2011 8:08:11 AM
Ken Hagerman Paraguay
Ken Hagerman
"is perfectly natural, and perfectly foolish." I think too often we use natural to mean appropriate. Natural points to human-ness and we are to "seek ye first the kingdom."

As for righteous indignation, we must be righteous to earn the right to be indignant. We aren't.

I like the paragraph "God is "allowed" anger, yes." It shows contrast like God made man from the cust of the earth. With vengeance and anger I make   the dust of the earth out of man.

Good post.
12/21/2011 11:56:38 AM
Jacob United States
Jacob
Hi Brant!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue. I would agree with you on most of the points that you have made in your blog here. However I feel that your assessment may be a little overly simplistic. I am just shooting from the hip here but doesn’t the fact that God himself expresses anger demonstrate that certain types of anger are justified? Jesus himself became angry when he cleansed the temple and when he condemned the Pharisees and the cities of Israel in Mathew 23. Paul also expresses anger in his letter to the Galatians (particularly interesting is Galatians 5:12). Beyond that there are often times through out the Psalms where the writers expresses anger toward those who do evil and who victimize the weak.

My reasoning runs like this: God is righteous. God expresses anger. Anger is a communicable attribute He has shared with us. Therefore there must be some kind of anger that is righteous.

It is true that human beings are fallen and are much less than good (i.e. sinful). It is true that we are reckless and that10 times out of 10 (on our own) we will use what we have in a wrong way or with a wrong motive. In that sense, someone who is separate from Christ, even if he does what is good, like loving his neighbor, sins because his love does not come from a motive to please God but to justify himself in some way. But if someone who is in Christ loves his neighbor, he does not sin because he is motivated by a desire to glorify God (a desire that is enabled by his relationship with God). The fact that a Christian is still imperfect does not invalidate his love. We don’t believe that it is wrong to love. Love also comes from God. It also is a communicable attribute that he shares with us. We can do just as much damage by misusing love as we can by misusing anger. If you toss anger because we don’t always use it perfectly, you have to toss love as well.

My question to you, then, is this: what is your definition of anger? I guess I would say that “righteous anger” is an emotional response to injustice or wrong. It is a feeling of displeasure that is attached to a person’s conscience; their sense of what is right and what is wrong. Unrighteous anger would be displeasure with out a legitimate cause or displeasure motivated by duplicity. So when I hear you say that anger is always wrong what I hear you saying is that I should be, at best, indifferent and passive about something like abortion; at worst, happy about something like abortion. Perhaps this is why you are encountering resistance with this view.

…also I don’t like Eugene Peterson or his message. It makes me angry. Smile
12/21/2011 12:13:15 PM
les hall United States
les hall
Wow great topic ...I strugle with anger almost daily  my tendancy is to lash out when hurt or violated...Godsaid be angry but dont SIN! but He also says All things work for the good of those who love God.. THANK GOD for His MERCY! ya see I have found thatif I try to get rid of my anger or turn the other cheek so to speak this works only for a while and then I push the button ..then something like Hiroshima ...then I could quote paul "the things I would the things I should ...but bottom line is on my own I CANT!ya see theres more to that scripture it says" In Christ" it has already been done.IT is and always has to be that any revelation of my own anger issues has to come from GOD ie;all things work for the good of those who love God and OBEY GOD, remember JESUS said those who love me obey Me...so in conclusionif the scriptures say to put anger away ,where oh where should I put it...GOD says cast your burden on me and take MY yoke upon YOU for MY yoke is light...in Isa. 61 it says he will give us BEAUTY FOR ASHES so I will take my anger to the foot of the cross where the battle has alredy been fought on my behalf and the victory won and trade my anger for his LOVE and MERCY and HIS AND MY victory over my sin and anger which i can oly overcome thru and in OBEDIANCE TO CHRIST AND HIS DIRECTION from this moment forward...GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
12/21/2011 12:55:01 PM
Jake
Jake
I think Bethany has the best answer.

So I live in Haiti, but thats not an option on your list of countries so I chose Not Specified... Can Haiti get a little love please? Smile
12/21/2011 1:11:51 PM
ShaeC United States
ShaeC
I think anger is an understandable emotion, and possibly unavoidable, but it seems that people confuse "feeling" anger with "expressing" it - that somehow they're justified in doing what their anger tempts them to do.  When toddlers don't control their emotions, we call it a temper tantrum; when grown-ups do it, we call it "righteous anger"?  That doesn't make sense to me.  Acting angry just spreads the angry.
12/21/2011 1:21:19 PM
Tim S United States
Tim S
Yeh I do get angry, and I agree with everything except for the thought that it sounds as though we are to beheld to a higher standard than God, he can get angry and I can't.  I gona just say that since that doesn't make sense to me that I'll will just have to admit I don't know the answer to this one.

Tim
12/21/2011 1:57:51 PM
anonymous United States
anonymous
Not to be a debate-starter but...Eugene Peterson wrote an endorsement to the book The Shack. Granted, that doesn't make him a heretic, but I don't really like him as much as you seem to, Brant. He also took out all obvious references to homosexuality from The Message...
12/21/2011 2:08:09 PM
Jane United States
Jane
The fact that the admonition is not to sin when we are angry, by statement defines anger as acceptable.  The problem isn't the anger itself, but what action we take when we are angry. If anger itself were prohibited, there would be no need to distinguish between it and sin.
12/21/2011 2:27:10 PM
kellyclaywoo United States
kellyclaywoo
When my husband and I were youth leaders, one night we had a girl that had graduated from high school and what not...she had moved on from our youth group and had some struggles since...During Bible study, a leader brought up, righteous anger and was asking the kids if there was ever a time, it would be OK for a Christian to get angry? Some of the kids were goofing around and not paying attention.Being disrespectful. Our visitor, who all the kids looked up to, because she's one of those cool young adults, got was getting annoyed and finally said, something to the effect, "I'm sorry but you guys are really making me mad. I wish I would've paid more attention to what the leaders and a my teachers were trying to tell me, when I was your age, it would've saved me a lot of heart ach!" After that they straightened up and actually apologized. I commented on how that was an example of anger being a good thing. I don't believe in being angry because our feelings are hurt. But sometimes we need to take the aggressive stance. This of course needs to be done in wisdom. Jesus didn't have a problem with wisdom, like we do. I pray that I walk in the spirit and have the wisdom of when to be angry and sin not.
12/21/2011 10:52:31 PM
Brian United States
Brian
Ok, I agree with most everything.

The Ephesians 4 paraphrase by Peterson...  Like you, I completely disagree with.  

IMO anger, much like fear, is a human emotion.  Ephesians 4 is not a commandment to be angry.  Neither is it a commandment to not be angry.  

Let me explain...

Here would be my paraphrase:

"You can get angry, but don't sin."  Once you are angry, don't let it fester.  Instead, deal with it QUICKLY, decisively, and in an appropriate manner (which includes forgiveness).  If it is not dealt with quickly, you are giving the devil a foothold to where he can use you for his purposes.

The "commandment" I see here is...DEAL with your anger quickly, decisively, and in an appropriate manner.  DO NOT let it fester.  

--------------------------------------
In the Army I was in the 82nd Airborne.  That being said, there is nothing "natural" about jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft.  There is FEAR involved.  But they teach us to deal with/overcome our fear by teaching us to "TRUST OUR EQUIPMENT".  I learned to do that and I "hit" (exited) the door of the aircraft on command every time.

If I can trust nylon and silk (which is about 99% reliable) to "save my life" every time I jump out of an airplane; then, why don't I trust God (who is 100% reliable) in what he is calling me to do???

----------------------------------------------
Much as you said Brant, as humans, we like to read the first part of that scripture and stop there b/c it is human to do so and it is easy.  But the fact here is, even in this powerful emotion, God is calling us beyond it, beyond ourselves, and to do something that does not come natural for us.  

In some cases, this emotion can be so powerful and so strong that...we in our humanness...will not be able to "lay it down" and "leave it at the cross" on our own strength.  But, I don't think God expects us to do this on our own anyway.  I believe God expects us to TRUST HIM and ask him for his help...even in dealing with the anger of being wronged.  

It is a scary thing to tell God "No".  I have learned that the hard way.  
It is a great thing to tell God "Yes".  I haven't learned that so much.
HOWEVER...I don't see anything wrong with telling God "HELP ME!"  Help me to get beyond my emotions and my humanness.  Help me to get beyond my anger.  Help me in this situation to operate in the manner you have called me to.   Help me to operate according to your principles and NOT according to the principles that the world has drilled into my head the past XX years.....  


So...yeah....
12/22/2011 9:38:08 AM
Elizabeth United States
Elizabeth
Thank you for that! I love reading through your blogs because about 1/4 of the way through I so do not see where you are going but you always take us somewhere!

I never thought of myself as an angry person until a few months ago when I was waking up every morning anger and I was so mad (which made for a vicious circle) because that was not me. I just did not understand how God did not want me to be angry at people who were being mean to me and miss treating me and my generosity.

Well as usual God was doing a work in me (which I do admit is SO not finished). I do have to say in the last week I am seeing the fruits of our gracious God. I have abided in him and stayed closer than ever and he is honestly warming my cold heart. He is teaching me that it really does not matter what I think and to remember he has a bigger plan than I could ever imagine.

I love it! Because I have been getting glimpses of the world through his eyes and I have to say it is a much better view than through mine own!
12/22/2011 9:44:42 AM
Elizabeth United States
Elizabeth
...One last thing.

This is for everyone who struggles with anger or just letting go. (this is a little bit of piggy backing off of Brian)

Ask God for help...even for the things that you don't see a way to get there...I PROMISE you he will never leave and your heart will change if you are seeking in Faith...

...I know because I am a living witness to such a miracle!

Every person has a story to tell...Let God touch your life so that you may touch another...all you have to do is ask!
12/22/2011 9:42:46 PM
Ki United States
Ki
Dear Brant,
From what I got, yes, in fact, I agree with you.

I didn't understand, however, the point. I think. I know when anger is present, sin abounds, but, I mean, didn't God want some of his people to be angry? About the things wrong in this world, about the evil people, about the evil acts, about--

I think you get my point. Maybe. Maybe you'll never see this or just don't wanna reply. I understand. Smile But, if you do, clarify please. Smile thanks.
12/22/2011 10:26:56 PM
Elisa United States
Elisa
Hey, me again. Just wanted to give a practical example. I had a cookie making party toight and he it was all over there was a HUGE! mess. I was doing dishes for like 20 minutes. After I let out the dirty water and needed to put in ew, I eeded to clean out the catch in the drain. I reached quickly to the trash, or where I thought the trash would be, but someone had moved it. When I first found that it was moved, I flare up inside, I got mad. But I didn't go with my first instinct which was to scream, "What the heck! who moved the trash can!" And that would have been a sin, but what I did which was just flare up inside, but no oe knew and I took o action o it, I do ot believe that was a sin. Not to toot my own horn, just making a point.
12/23/2011 11:55:32 AM
River Wilson United States
River Wilson
You are right to say that anger is not the way. The people who do the most evil in this world are always those who are in desperate need of the most love. Christ's Love. Allowing anger in our hearts and committing acts of retaliation only damages our relationship with Christ and thus our ability to share the Gospel with others. But to do as Jesus commands us to, and to humble ourselves and love one another despite how we are wounded by the world- that is how we become closer to Him and to the fulfillment of His Kingdom.
12/23/2011 6:39:11 PM
Niko United States
Niko
A path to the dark side anger is.
12/24/2011 6:29:43 AM
Elisa United States
Elisa
Yoda(Niko) makes a good point.
12/24/2011 7:54:56 AM
River Wilson United States
River Wilson
Smile Well said, Niko!
12/24/2011 8:26:34 AM
Tanakali United Kingdom
Tanakali
I agree...and yet I dont.

We are told not to get angry at people. That I understand, and we aren't allowed to do it. But I think we are allowed to get angry at the evil in the world. It's wrong to act on that anger to fuel it, but is it wrong to act on ridding that evil from the world? I think not, but I could totally be wrong. It's wrong to be angry at humans, and we should forgive them. But for the Evil in the world, it needs to be opposed for it to be banished. To me, there are two kinds of anger when it comes to evil: Productive, and blind. Blind anger is just that: no productivity, doing things based on your current anger and most often regretting it later. Then there's productive. Productive is led by anger, but it's not blind. It's doing good things to banish that evil. It's not necessarily being angry at it 24/7, but being against it none the less and working to fix the
problem. Productive is the good anger here. You're not necessarily angry at it all the time, but it's more of a feeling of being against it, because you know how awful it can be. Take for example, homelessness. I'm angry at the huge numbers of homeless people in our society. But I'm using that anger to change it for the good; working at places like PADS and the food pantry when i can. I'm not working off blind anger, and going around screaming at Others how it's somehow their fault. Instead, I'm being productive. Is that wrong? I dont think so. Could I be wrong? Definately. I'm a 14 year old girl, I definately have less experience in life in general than others. I could be totally, completely devastatingly epicly wrong. Please point out if I am.
12/24/2011 10:05:46 AM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
That is deep thinking for a 14-year-old girl.
12/24/2011 10:22:46 AM
Achronofanalia United States
Achronofanalia
I totally agree with you Tanakali. I think you have said it the best of everyone. But then again I'm a 14 year old girl tooSmile
12/25/2011 3:51:15 PM
jckok United States
jckok
Brant you rock bro!!!...... love is the most important thing in the world.anger is a natural feeling. Its how long we hold on 2 it. And were it takes us. Must get rid of it asap. Cu's it will grow... and consume you. And its projection will come out sideways!!!!....... and destroy you...
12/27/2011 7:06:39 AM
Ivy United States
Ivy
Wow. Brant, I think you had that there for a reason. I didn't hear you talk about on the radio, I was just bored and decided to look at Brant's Blog, and the thing I got was concerning my greatest weakness. You know something, you're amazing.
12/27/2011 12:54:08 PM
Larry United States
Larry
Brant, thanks for the refreshing, and convicting, blog. I, too, have felt that God has called us to a higher standard of living, one that wholly loves all people, regardless of who they are or what they've done. This blends into another topic, though, that I would love your opinion on...

Can we/Should we forgive and forget? Even though many disagree with me, I think that we should. If God casts our sins as far as the East is from the West, shouldn't we? With the help of the Holy Spirit, this becomes an easier task, but necessary nonetheless...

Thoughts?

Thanks again Brant.
12/29/2011 12:47:38 AM
John Finkelde Australia
John Finkelde
I'm quite amazed you see anger as an evil thing we are not allowed to have, at all, at any time. Don't agree. Anger is generally a reaction & I think anger as a reaction to evil is fine. Now what you do with it may not be fine but that's a different issue.
12/29/2011 2:25:48 PM
Ki United States
Ki
Although I forget who said this (they said it way up on top) I agree that anger is allowed, but if you act upon it then it isn't. Does that make sense? Because where anger is, sin is too, but God gave us anger, right? We just have to choose to not act or react upon it. Thoughts plz
12/30/2011 7:47:52 AM
Denise United States
Denise
For possibly the first time, I absolutely agree with everything Brant said. I think anger, righteous anger especially, makes us forget about what the real consequences of the sin. We concentrate on the wrongdoer instead of helping the victims. Righteous anger is more comfortable than letting your heart break with the people who were hurt, and, while it might fuel a response, it's often for the wrong reason.

12/30/2011 2:35:13 PM
Walter H. United States
Walter H.
I agree 10,000% on this.
I feel people use "righteous anger" just as an excuse to be angry.
Either you choose to be angry, or choose to get rid of it. You can't steer it where you want. God's allowed to have anger and wrath (cause he's.. well, God..) and we are not because we just use it to make ourselves feel better. When we choose to be angry, we are choosing to serve ourselves (in other words, selfishness/foolishness) no matter what the case may be!
We need to show the love of Christ, not his wrath. THAT's our job!

It's GOD's job to be angry because he gets angry for the RIGHT reasons when we get angry for the WRONG reasons.

We want it to be our job but it is not. It feels good to be angry, but it's not God's number one priority to make us "feel good" now is it?

And as you said, we will get angry. I will get angry. But God forgives (thank God.. literally).

So well said Brandt. If I could give you a high five I would.. but I can't. Just pretend I did.  
1/4/2012 8:55:31 AM
Katherine United States
Katherine
Handling anger can be a frustrating task. If I deal with it too quickly and I am like to say what I don't mean or make the matter worse. I usually leave the matter alone until I've slept on it. When I wake up, I usually forgot that I was angry. If I am still angry then I've had time to organize my thoughts, perspective so I can better present my frustrations.
I think Aristotle said it best

“Anyone can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not within everyone's power and that is not easy.”
1/4/2012 9:01:53 AM
Elisa United States
Elisa
I like it Kathrine.. I like itSmile
1/9/2012 10:30:30 PM
Christine United States
Christine
I agree....but even Jesus got angry. He knocked over a table once. Anger is no more of a sin than any other emotion. It's only when we allow this anger to fuel our actions and turn into hatred for our neighbor that it's wrong.
1/12/2012 8:44:44 AM
Jason United States
Jason
I am so glad I read this and I'm sorry I waited so long. I called in after you discussed this and shared my feelings. I agree that it's holding on to anger that's sinful. When we hold grudges or stay angry, we become slaves to anger. But when we let it go and forgive, we are set free. This is never easy. That's why we need the Holy Spirit to strenghten us. Anger is an emotion of hate and to hold on to that is sinful. The Bible is full of verses like Ephesians 5:8, "For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!"

I struggled with this for years as I held on to anger towards my father for not being in my life. As that anger built, it became hatred until every time I thought of or heard of him, my temper would flare and it would be really difficult for others to be around me. But when, through Christ's help and the strength of the Holy Spirit, I forgave my father, even told him I loved him and would pray for him, I am no longer angry. I still do not associate with my father, but I have forgiven him and I do love him.

Sorry my comments are so long. Thank you for your post.
1/19/2012 10:11:15 PM
Brian United States
Brian
Anger is a natural, God-given emotion, period. It can consume and lead one to folly, surely, but if constrained by wisdom and channeled correctly, then it can also lead us to take positive action. Sin is generally the perversion or misuse of something that is otherwise neutral or good. That can happen with anger, too. But don't over-simplify by suggesting anger is always problematic in and of itself. When a husband discovers his bride has cheated on him, doesn't he become angry? And don't you think that's how God created us? To react strongly, emotionally, and negatively to something like that? When human traffickers sell a little girl into sex slavery, doesn't that make us angry?  When somebody tortures an animal in an act of cruelty? Please don't be absurd and suggest that anger has no place in our hearts. You are wrong, 100%.

You seem to suggest forgiveness as a substitute for anger. Guess what? In the bible, forgiveness is always - always - a transaction. In fact, that's what the whole gospel is. Christ died on the cross and made forgiveness of sins possible - but you have to accept his forgiveness to receive it. In the same way, someone has to accept your forgiveness for that forgiveness to actually take place. There's an exchange involved: a pardon granted by one, true remorse (repentance, you might say) experienced by the other. Without that exchange taking place, the issue has not been resolved. So forgiveness is great, but it isn't automatic, and it is not just a feeling you summon and then you can move on with your life. That's a recipe for disaster, because the real issue hasn't been dealt with.

As a side not, I agree with you about Peterson's ridiculous paraphrasing here. He actively distorts the meaning.  
1/29/2012 3:13:22 PM
Katlyn United States
Katlyn
Thanks for that Brant, I really needed that. You see I have anger in me now and I'm trying so hard to get rid of it. I just ended my friendship with a person I've known and loved for almost ten years because of something really stupid she knows I didn't want her to do. For some reason I'm not sad, I'm full of anger and I don't want it. I keep praying to God that he can take my anger away, and he is. But everytime some one mentions her, I get it right back. Can you please help me find a way to forgive her and get rid of this feeling for good?
7/2/2012 11:21:41 PM
Maddy United States
Maddy
Oh my goodness you made a LotR analogy!!!! Anyways, at first I didn't really think that the Message version actually said that, because I really like the way it puts things sometimes and it just shocked me. But anyway, I love your blogs, Brant. And that LotR analogy was an amazingly cool one, even if it didn't last very long, because I am a huge LotR fan and anything that has to do with LotR I love, unless it's weird slash stuff between Sam and Frodo... ew.
2/16/2013 4:20:25 PM
Kate Canada
Kate
Don't you think that "in your anger do not sin" implies that it is possible to be angry without sinning?  I am not talking about nursing anger,but I do think that it is possible to be angry in a way that is not sinful. That is how I read the verse my way.
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