Kingdom Principle: In the Kingdom – anger serves the King not the “self” nor “short term goals” (Anger can be rooted in Actions, Attitude or Approach – only Approach leads to Righteous Anger)
Emotions are neither right nor wrong – they simply are. How and when our emotions lead us to act is where right and wrong come it to play. To deny your emotions is to deny what you are feeling and ignore the roots of your soul. However to allow your emotions to control you, or even direct you, can at times is very a dangerous and risky situation to allow yourself to be in. Many in the Church have mis-used the term “righteous anger” in the same way they have used the term “error on the side of grace” both I believe are mis-directed efforts of pride or selfishness.
Righteous Anger –is often the defense of the self-proclaimed righteous to bring judgment on those who are in error or are not living up to the requirements of the Lord. (Read John 8) What makes this “righteous anger” UN-righteous is the fact that the anger is expressed in the attitude and actions of the individuals executing their conclusion, rather than in service of the Lord based on His approach to the situation. (The Lord is full of compassion and gracious – yet slow to anger – but still righteously angry) Unfortunately, often someone has come to the conclusion that their anger is righteous – removes restrain of actions and attitude– and is allowed to have such expressions of justified anger.
We have spent the last 4 weeks looking at the body, soul and spirit and recognizing their uniqueness and contribution in a life of submission to the King. Truly righteous anger is not expressed in the body (Actions) or in the soul (Attitude) – it is core to our spirit (Approach). Righteous anger exists prior to the offense or the situation and is not used to support the “higher road” or elite status of any individual. Righteous anger is rooted in the very impulse of the Spirit – and directed at the very things that anger the King. In the same way we find joy in what brings the King joy when we are in flow with the spirit – (last week), We have righteous anger when we are approaching a situation in submission to the King in the same what the King would approach a situation. (If you’re not sure how the King approaches a situation – continue to study the principles of the Kingdom.)
Approach can be understood in the way a servant/slave approaches their master . Do they respect and revere their master or do they live in contempt? To fear & revere the Master is to submit your life into their control and direction. A servant may still serve their master out of obligationor co-deendence, but if their attitude is wrong then their service is filled with contempt. An action/attitude rooted in the emotion of contempt will never become righteous.
Again, righteous anger is rooted in the approach (of your spirit) not in your attitude (of your soul) or actions (of your body). Injustice angers the Lord (See Ps 7, 11, & 33) – As King he will not ignore it or stand for it. If injustice angers you – you will not remain silent on the issue– it is in your approach. However when someone ignores your plea to stand with you against injustice – your anger need not increase or be now directed at that person – for that would allow your anger to flow from your attitude and into your actions. This is often where the church mis-uses “righteous anger” – If you are really righteously angry about something you don’t wait for others to stand with you nor do you stand against others who ignore your cry – Your approach is to stand against in justice regardless of others attitude or actions. To stand against injustice in one form – check out http://iempathize.org/
When your Body and Soul are in submission to the Spirit – Completion of the task, or righting one wrong person is no longer your short term goal. Rather than reaching your “goal” – follow-through and faithfulness to the call is what drives your spirit thus directing your life. A few questions to ask yourself about Anger and if it is Righteous.
- Is my anger directed at an individual person? If so – beware – a response to the person is likely to fall in the category of unrighteous. However – looking deeper – based on the realty that most anger is first discovered in personal relationships… Ask yourself is my anger directed at their actions / attitude or their approach? If actions/attitude – pray for your enemny for we are called to do so and we live in a world full of sinners (that includes you and I).
- If your anger is directed at their approach. Take a step back and seek out where in your life you have been enraged / angered at this approach in others? If never – go back to question one. If you can see a repeating pattern – recognize the Sprit of God may be revealing a path by which you may grow in your stance and understanding of the King. You need not be anger against the person – rather learn how to take a righteous stance and to operate and move in the opposite direction or motivation of what “angers” you. (Ex. If a controlling or manipulation approach angers you – stand in the opposite spirit of granting freedom to others – not needing them to need you or vice versa.)
- How often do you use labels to describe people? When we use labels – we are setting ourselves up for missing the approach and only seeing the action/attitude.
- Where have others mis-understood your approach and judged your actions/attitude? Recognize this in yourself and seek to grow your spirit so that confusion is less likely.