But if we can keep ourselves from loving justice, from delighting in punishment, what about anger? As ones covered by Grace what right have we to be angry?

I’ve heard it said that we can have a righteous anger. That Jesus had it as well (when he whipped the cheaters and turned the tables). When we hear and see and read that young boys and girls are taken advantage of, sold like so much chaff, isn’t it right to be angry? Isn’t it Right to be angry?

I’m beginning to think there are at least two types of anger. There is righteous anger and there is jealous anger. I almost feel like righteous anger can only be imparted by God. Perhaps it comes in a package with the amazing grace, who knows. But I am doubtful that anything like righteous anger could stem from anything within me.

But there is another type of anger. I’ve experienced it myself. The jealous kind of anger. I think we see it in the prodigal’s older brother. We see it in Jonah too, maybe. It’s the anger that says, “God, you MUST punish!”. I have said it myself in the past. “God, those people, how can you not punish them? Who cares if they’re sorry! Look at me, I’ve been so good. What was it all for if there are no consequences?” It’s the feeling that gives you a sick pleasure in seeing people fall. “See? They had it coming all along. It’s this anger that confuses me when apparently bad people seem to be pretty happy. The very idea violates my worldview that people who seek purely selfish gain must be deeply unhappy, even if they don’t admit it. Think Hugh Hefner, or maybe Kim Jong Il, how could God allow someone like that to be happy, even for a second?

It seems that this insidious form of anger, far from righteous, really originates in the childish desire that if I am not allowed to do this or that, nobody should. And if they do get special privilege, they should suffer for it.

On the other hand, the real, the Right anger (I think), stems from a Love for what is Good and what is beautiful. The father’s love for his child, the artist’s love for his perfected piece. This anger is not concerned with the self, but with seeing what is whole torn asunder.

I guess this may not be anything really new or profound, but I am humbled to think that perhaps most of the times I am angry or frustrated, the cause is not anything like a Love for goodness and beauty, but just a violation of petty desires and habits that I’ve formed over the long 26 years of being alive.


~ by justinhong on September 13, 2011.

One Response to “Angers”

  1. Justin,

    Maybe if you have kids someday, you will experience some of this righteous anger that you write of.

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