A Good Kind of Anger

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A Good Kind of Anger

by Joni Eareckson Tada

“’In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

Ephesians 4:26

My friend Robert exploded at God the other day when Joshua, his little boy with multiple disabilities, suffered yet another seizure. “God, I don’t get it,” Robert protested. “How can you allow Joshua to have a seizure that causes him to fall and bang his head?” Strong words. We’re usually scared to talk to God that way. Too often we choose the polite route, bottling up our unspeakable feelings toward God. But all we’ve done is shove the problem to the back burner.

Anger at least keeps the problem on the front burner, propelling us into action. And that may not be all bad. When Ephesians 4:26 states, “In your anger do not sin,” it’s clear not all anger is wrong. Strong emotions open the door to ask the hard questions: Does life make sense? Is God good? More to the point, our deep emotions reveal the spiritual direction in which we are moving. Are we moving toward God with our heated questions, or are we moving away from him?

The thing I love about Robert is that he is taking his concerns to God. He is moving toward the Lord. He is not sowing seeds of discord, spreading slander or inciting rebellion against God among others. He’s not talking about God behind God’s back; he’s engaging him head-on.

This makes Robert’s anger good. When I listen to him, I can almost hear embedded between the lines an honest hunger, a desire to stay connected. After all, the people you really get angry with are sometimes the ones you trust the most.

Sometimes the anger we express toward God can be an upside-down way of trusting him. It’s the dark side of trust but trust nonetheless. If your soul is in turmoil, all God is looking for is a thin thread of trust. Then God is able to work in your life. But only if you take your anger to—not away from—him.

Lord God, help me to remember that you are big enough to handle my honest feelings. If I’m angry or hurt, help me to express it to you without showing disrespect.

Taken from More Precious than Silver

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 1998
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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