It is vital that I know the difference between righteous anger and carnal indignation.
A good friend walked into her local bank this week, transacted her business and bid the cashier, “Goodbye.” Instead of the usual “Good day!” expected, the cashier responded with a question that arrested the customer in her tracks, and set alarm bells ringing in her thoughts. “Mrs. Jones, are you aware that the bank considers you a prime customer to be offered a loan?”
These were the words that caused an eruption in Mrs. Jones’ peaceful composure. From the depth of her being a volcano erupted. “Loan!”, she retorted. “LOAN!”, she exploded, “When will you people realise that’s why this country is in such a mess because of the irresponsible encouragement to borrow and spend what can be ill afforded! My generation grew up being taught to save for your goals, not borrow finance. This evil Loan Culture has ruined our nation!”
The cashier looked embarrassed and subdued. On the other hand, Mrs. Jones was amazed at the eruption of words that she had spewed from her mouth, totally out of character in such a situation. On seeing the cashier’s embarrassment, Mrs. Jones immediately humbled before her and apologised, saying that she realised that she was only doing her job as a representative of the Bank, whose policy decisions were nothing to do with her. After a profuse apology, Mrs. Jones left the premises somewhat disturbed.
On returning home she examined herself before the Lord. Where had that outburst come from? It was so out of character in such a situation!
Many reading this will have had similar experiences in life. There is a great difference between uncontrolled anger in a person – carnal indignation, and righteous anger. One of the problems regarding this is that many will claim they are demonstrating the “righteous anger” of God, but it is nothing but the old enemy of their own pride resurfacing. Pride is always the last to leave and the first to show up again. The only way to deal with pride is to humble yourself.
If I refuse to humble where God has shown me I am wrong, then in His timing He will humiliate me in His righteous judgement. BUT….He always gives me opportunity to humble myself first. If I refuse to humble in my pride, then I have to accept the consequences…….pain, heartache, loss of His Presence, peace and joy, – what a price to pay!
1Peter 5:5 “God resists the proud.”
What Mrs. Jones was experiencing was the righteous anger of God against an evil culture. Consider this: Isaiah 59:19 “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” In retrospect, Mrs. Jones realised she had wrongly verbally attacked the cashier who was only doing her job as a company representative. Quite rightly she immediately humbled herself and apologised for directing her outburst at her. She could have handled it differently and her complaint was with the hierarchy of the bank.
Matthew 21:12 – 17 records the well-known account of Jesus’ righteous anger on behalf of His Father, when He overturned the tables of the dishonest money changers in the Temple. Verse 13 – Jesus said,”It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer”, but you have made it a den of thieves.”
The Lamb of God became the Lion of Judah on behalf of His Father’s interests, not His own. This was the governing factor, the factor that governed all His earthly life.
He came to do His Father’s will and demonstrate His submissive humility in that governing factor. Jesus said to Philip, ” He that has seen me has seen the Father,” John 14:9. CAN PEOPLE SAY THAT OF ME?