Could you tell me about anger that God calls, “righteous anger,” and the kind that James speaks about?
Yes! I have a wonderful story to illustrate the difference between the two.
First of all, that scripture in James is, 1:20 “For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”
Many years ago I had been around a very angry person. God’s Word in Proverbs says that if you are around an angry person you will become angry, or like that person. I was around that person a lot during that time of my life.
Pretty soon, during a bad situation, I could literally ‘feel’ anger rise up from the gut all the way up to my face! That was the ‘spirit of anger’. It actually flared within me.
It had a strong control over me, although I had a choice as a Christian to let it go as far as I wanted to. This was so foreign to me. I was shocked that it could happen in me, but it had! I had let it.
I went to the mirror and had a talk with myself. I looked right at me in the eye, and commanded that spirit of anger to leave me in the Name of Jesus! I knew a lot about deliverance in those days, so I didn’t back down and knew it had to leave in Jesus’ name. You can’t pander to sin or dark feelings. You have to deal with them immediately when you realize what you are dealing with.
Of course, I was tested later. I chose not to let that anger rise up in me again. It was tough at first, but I held my ground and operated according to God’s Word of peace. Had I not, and let that spirit come back in unchecked, it would have grown into a much more serious problem.
One evening I was sitting with this person who was very acutely sick. He whimpered about things in such a way, that I started to get angry with him and his selfish attitude. But I wouldn’t relay that anger in front of him. I had made choices to be Christlike. So, I went out to the kitchen, grabbed the counter with my two hands and fought the anger back. I did that by quoting God’s Word and my commitment to Him.
The anger subsided and I went out back to this person as I had left him, which was an attitude of love and understanding.
As I was sitting there next to him on the couch that he was laid out on, something of power started to rise up within me.
I was getting mad at the cause of this infirmity in this person.
Ahhhh… I was not mad at the person, but the true perpetrator! This happened quite quickly and I put my hand out toward the area of this person’s sickness and commanded (with great vehemence) it to leave in the name of Jesus!!!
It was such an authoritative prayer with such power that I felt really good. I got up to leave for a few minutes and I came back looking for this person.
I couldn’t find him anywhere. I heard a large violent sound going through the house. About ten minutes later I found this person as sweet and calm as a lamb. I couldn’t remember when I had seen such a nice countenance on this person.
I asked him where he had been and what happened.
He told me that he had ferociously thrown up. Not like he ever had before in his life. He was a new person!
He was to go into surgery within 36 hours, but it got cancelled because he was totally healed and had been delivered.
Now, had I entertained my personal anger, this story would not have had such a glorious ending!
Then there is the matter of everyday anger.
For instance, the other day I was starting to get angry with someone for an action I didn’t like. But I sat here asking God to give me understanding. God’s Word says in Proverbs 17:27, “He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”
I got to thinking of what really transpired, and realized that in fact, it was my fault, not theirs, and I changed my thoughts and feelings immediately before they saw how sour I was. Shew!!
Got irritation? Stop, look, and listen. Stop before you act. Look at yourself and see if you were the original culprit. Then listen to Holy Spirit for guidance. You can’t go wrong!!
Other verses worth noting to look up and read are:
Prov. 12:16, 13:3, 13:10, 14:17, 15:1, 15:18, 15:28, 16:23, 16:32, 17:19, 19:11 and many others
God bless you to know the truth so you may be set free!!!