Anger or Righteous Anger?

“If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:19-24 NIV

“I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.” Booker T. Washington

There is so much anger on the television and social media! The lines are drawn. Deception and corruption evident. Threats are made and, sadly in some cases, carried out. Revenge and punishment rampant. And powerlessness reigns supreme. Victims are made.

Then the anger of being in a dysfunctional family as the Black Sheep, Scapegoat or another label (not true, by the way), is expressed in such destructive ways and can get entangled with the issues of the day. That powerlessness that leads to addiction, raging, threats, abuse and Pow! We’re spiraling down the drain!

Go running. Dig in the garden. Ready. Set. 25 jumping jacks. And then ask yourself this: What is this anger trying to tell me. What do I need to do to make myself feel better? It could be caused by the world situation, but probably something inside me too. Even David in the above Psalm knew that God needed to search him and his heart.

I abhor, hate, despise sex-trafficking of all stripes. To help ease my anger, I pray, support a charity that rescues children from that horrible fate. It breaks my heart it’s increasing; however, I use righteous anger to propel me to action. It’s little, seems inconsequential but My Father is not. David and Goliath scenario.

The anger from my childhood still bubbles up and can ruin my day. So… What is this anger trying to tell me? Boundaries? Forgiveness? Loving detachment? Counsel with a professional or trusted friend? Always prayer. Always empowering. Someone’s words and actions do not get the last say. I am not a victim.

Musings

Righteous anger is anything that violates God’s laws.  Paul counsels in Romans 12 that revenge is God’s. The anger? Well, that’s my responsibility. I don’t see as the Father does. But I can use anger to make positive change after my Father searches my heart. Easy? No. Never. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. What is your anger saying? What will make you feel better?

Prayer

Dear Father,

Thank you that we can take our anger to you. Sometimes it’s anger that gets us out of ourselves and back to where it belongs: your will. Sometimes it’s anger caused by neglecting and abandoning ourselves. You never do.

Thank you for opportunities to make a positive difference and sometimes righteous anger is the fuse for positive action. You want us to care for ourselves, others and your world. Empower us with your spirit today to make a positive change. Remind us that revenge is yours. You could have done that to us. Thank you that you didn’t.

Amen.

Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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