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Righteous Anger

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”

Romans 1:18-19

I knew a pastor once who disrespected his elders, yelled in their faces, pointed his finger in their faces and called them liars. After his outburst, he then likened himself to Jesus, calling it righteous anger.  My first reaction to his comparison was that of laughter.  I found it humorous that someone would behave in that manner and then make the claim that they were being like Christ.  How sad that we can convince ourselves that our un-Christ-like behavior is justified. But not only that, we claim it as righteous.

What is righteous anger?  Does God get angry?  Scripture says, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.”  God hates evil.  God gets angry at evil.  I have learned that real love always becomes angry at evil.  Our finite minds find it hard to understand this concept because we cannot grasp that there is a difference between the wrath of God and the wrath of man.

Human anger is self-driven.  If we feel that we have become overlooked or cheated, we are prone to violent actions or an explosive temper tantrum much like this pastor.  Our anger is driven by emotion and expressed in ungodly ways when we do not get our way.  It occurs when we dismiss God.  We choose to go our own way and find that the outcome becomes that of losing our purpose and our standard. 

God does not become angry because He does not get His way.  That is not the case at all.  Instead, His anger is caused by our lack of obedience.  When we disobey God the result is self-destruction. God hates evil.  God hates divorce.  God hates pride.  God hates liars.  God hates gossips.  God hates murderers.  God hates thieves.  God hates adulterers.  The list goes on because He hates anything that causes harm and pain to His children.  He hates these things because they cause us to turn away from Him.  God hates these things because they are sin.

God is holy and because He is holy, our sins are an outrage to His holiness. He cannot look at that which is evil and He cannot stomach those who do wrong. (That would be ALL of us.)  God is angry at the evil that harms His children.

God’s anger is directed toward those things or people that destroy His children.  He doesn’t lose His temper and punch a hole in a wall at evil but instead He loves us that much that He hates what we become when we turn away from Him. Call it a divine hatred because in the end, He hates those things that cause harm to His children.

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  • Jim

    I believe you contradict yourself when you say “God hates divorce” because “He hates anything that causes harm and pain to His children.” Children stuck with parents who have terrible violent marriages suffer lots of “harm and pain” so God couldn’t hate divorce.

  • Nicole

    Thank you for your comment. As someone who is dealing with divorce, I am certain God hates it. I have five amazing kids that were suffering because of a bad marriage. The marriage has fallen apart. I truly believe God hates divorce because it has been one of the most painful and ugly things I have ever been through. I also believe God hates abuse and hates the pain caused by the abuse we experienced. In the end it all comes back to sin and our selfishness. It all breaks the heart of God, making Him angry because His children are being hurt. Hope that made sense.