Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of September 23, 2001


RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION

And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand   Mark 3:5.

A man with a withered hand stood before Jesus in a Jewish synagogue. Jesus, in an indirect way, asked if he should be healed. He was answered with silence. Jesus responded with anger.

 

Jesus was angry at their lack of concern and compassion toward one in need. This type of anger has been termed “righteous indignation.”

 

Read a statement from Paul concerning Christian anger.

 

Be angry … Ephesians 4:26a.

 

This is a command. As Jesus was angry at hardness of heart, so all believers are to be angry at expressions of hardness of heart.

 

Paul immediately places boundaries around his command. 

 

… and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,  nor give place to the devil … Ephesians 4:26b-27.

 

These boundaries show that righteous indignation is to be short-term. Satan can soon turn righteous anger into sinful anger. Sinful anger can turn into hate.

 

Living out our oneness with Christ is our victory over our anger and hate.

 

Rather than eliminating our resolve to do something about expressions of hardness of heart, freedom from short-term anger allows believers to approach them with a clear mind and a broader sense of purpose—under the leadership of God.