Good Christians Do Get Angry

Good Christians Do Get Angry

Is it a sin to get angry? Is it wrong to lose your temper? Absolutely not. Provided, you get angry or lose your temper over the right thing.

Suppose you have a brother or sister. Perhaps you really do and don't have to suppose it. Suppose at dinner tonight your mother gives you a small piece of cake or pie and your brother or sister the larger piece. Losing your temper over that is wrong. And most of us lose our temper over just such petty annoyances as that.

Many auto accidents are caused by anger. Often very petty anger. One driver is rude to another. Then the second driver, to get even, takes his anger out on a third. And so on. Within a matter of minutes some innocent person is badly hurt or killed. Farfetched? Not a bit. Such accidents, temper caused, happen every day on American highways. Practically every large hospital has injured persons recovering from just such so-called "accidents."

To illustrate why a Christian can get angry, let's take an imaginary trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. The time—more than 125 years ago. There in the heart of the French Quarter is a large stone—the slave auction block. On this block, the symbol of a slave system we will never see again, were placed men, women, boys, and girls. They were auctioned off to the highest bidder. They were closely examined to see how much work they could do. An able-bodied young man brought a thousand dollars.

Year after year this went on. Some people said it was wrong, but saw nothing they could do about it. People who called themselves Christian walked by the slave auction on their way to the lovely church just a few feet away. Some probably bought a slave after leaving a church service.

Then, one day, a tall, gangling young man came to town. He came from Illinois. His name was Abraham Lincoln. It is reported that when he saw the slave auction, so inhuman and cruel, he said, "I'll smash it!" Years later Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, setting the American Negro free from legal bondage.

One notable feature of Lincoln's character was the good-natured way he took jokes, criticisms, and even lies about himself. Things that make most of us literally boil inside, he took with a joke.

But the injustices and cruelties he saw inflicted on other people, especially helpless folk like the slaves, made him burn with anger. And instead of just getting angry and blowing off steam, so to speak, he did something about the injustices.

What makes you angry? Just petty annoyances? Or do you get upset when you see wrongs committed against innocent, helpless people?

The world badly needs angry Christians, not peevish Christians. Yes, I'd say it's not a sin to get angry. Sometimes it's a sin not to get angry.

When you lose your temper, lose it over principle, not the little selfish incidents. Little people get angry over little things. Big people get angry over big things. Are you big or little?

| More