I'm a pretty laid back guy, naturally.
Actually, the truth is I think it's naturally. It might be that my parents spanked it out of me. You'll have to ask them. Anyway the point is, I struggle with alot of different sins but most of the time, sinful anger isn't one of them. Which is nice, obviously, because for one thing sinful anger causes alot of problems and for another, more importantly, sinful anger is sinful.
There are a whole lot of times when it is wrong to be angry.
At the same time though, there are also times when it sinful not to be angry. This is where the conviction starts setting in…because while being laid back is nice, it is not always good.
Just as there are a whole lot of times when it is wrong to be angry, there are times when it is wrong not to be angry.
I'm just thinking this through. Feel free to help me.
But I say that because of the Ephesians 4 passage, "Be angry and do not sin…" Even more than that, I say that because there were times when Jesus became angry. And since Jesus not only didn't do anything wrong but also did everything right, when he got angry, it was always the perfect, right choice. If he hadn't gotten angry, that would have been wrong.
So I've been thinking, when is it sinful not to get angry?
I need to hear this. Just as there are people who need to be told not to become angry, I'm thinking some of us might need to be told, we need to become a little angrier. (With the big old caveat: for the right reasons and in the right way.)
I'm not sure I have the final answer, (maybe Dad can give us some help on this one) but I'll jot down a couple of the ideas that came to mind today about when it is wrong not to become angry.
1.) At idolatry. I think of Moses coming down from the mountain and seeing the people of God worshiping a golden calf. Being laid back, just kind of letting it go, wrong response. Or maybe also Paul. Walking through the city of Athens, seeing all the idolatry, Luke says he was provoked which also could be translated irritated and it might be too much but could we say, he was ticked off.
2.) At legalism. Galatians 5:12, check it out. (Not legalism as however you and I define it. Legalism as messing with the core gospel truth.)
3.) At a lack of mercy. Jesus standing in the synagogue next to a man with a withered hand, asking the Pharisees whether it was right to do good on the sabbath or to do evil? The Pharisees, staying silent. The Pharisees were more concerned about their rules and about their reputation and about trapping Jesus, and the passage says that kind of hard-heartedness made Jesus mad.