Posts Tagged ‘pride’

Is Anger Always a Display of Pride?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011


I heard a statement recently that was really good: the amount of anger you have towards another person is equal to the amount of pride you have. A person who is humble believes he has no rights and therefore never gets offended. The speaker was talking about marriage, and he’s actually right. When people ask me how my marriage is so good, one of the reasons I tell them is that I don’t take offense by anything my husband says. I know that he does not intend to hurt me. So if I’m hurt by a statement, I must be twisting it somehow. We women do this. I don’t know why. Our minds just attribute wrong motives to people because we are so insecure about ourselves.

But this is my question: Is anger always a display of pride? I want to dive into my own life, to see whether my recent anger and lack of instant forgiveness might be attributable to pride, or whether it’s something else. Is anger ever justified? Can anger actually be right?

When it comes to being angry with my husband and children, I have to say no. (I actually can’t remember when I was last angry with my husband; it’s been so many years.) But I get angry with my kids all the time. Why? Because they’ve inconvenienced me mostly. My anger is inexcusable, and I know that it’s sin. God showed me that anger towards my children was a symptom of my idolatry of time. I think time is my own, and I’m sorely mistaken. My time belongs to God.

But what about being angry about someone else being attacked unjustly? Is God Himself ever angry? Was Jesus angry while on earth? And under what circumstances?

Jesus was furious and whipped people with a whip, people who had the audacity to sell stuff in a place that was holy. They were ripping people off. Poor people couldn’t even afford to make a sacrifice because these people made it impossible for them to obey God.

And yet Jesus never lashed out against anyone who was injuring His own body. He just took it. There was no anger.

Jesus was also furious at church leaders. They put yokes on people that the people couldn’t bear, and it drove people away from God. Jesus almost cussed at these church leaders; He was so mad. He called them whitewashed walls, a brood of vipers, and other bad names. He was mad. Livid.

It seems to me that if I saw a man raping a woman in a dark alleyway, the anger that I would feel towards the rapist would be murderous. I would defend that woman, and the thing that would make me fierce would be my anger at the injustice, at the outrage. And I believe God feels the same way.

Oddly, I never felt anger towards the rapist in my own life. I felt defeated, ripped open, and destroyed, but not angry. Later I discovered that I had bitterness toward God and an inability to trust Him, but that’s a very long story that would take a book to explain. I now trust God in a way that I never thought possible. But I wasn’t angry when injustice happened to me.

When my husband was attacked recently with slanderous allegations until he was utterly destroyed, was it okay for me to be furious? When I read the book of Revelation, I see a God of vengeance who cares deeply about injustice. At the marriage feast, we’re sitting there, and we actually cheer like a football game when Christ gallops with a scythe in His hand to destroy His enemies, and it’s quite brutal. He almost looks like the Grim Reaper, and my husband says that the Angel of Death in Exodus was none other than Christ. Don’t look into Revelation if you’re faint of heart. You will find out that God is fierce and holy, and the fear of God will take on a new dimension, as it’s supposed to include trembling.

I desperately want to purge anything from my life that is not pleasing to God. But I don’t want to purge things that aren’t even wrong, just to stifle my personality and make me more stoic. If my heart is open, I’m bound to be hurt. And hurt often includes anger, whether it’s right or not. I’d rather not build a wall. I’d rather love full blast, one way or the other, even if I get hurt again.

Feel free to tell me your thoughts. Is anger ever justified and righteous? Or am I making excuses for my sin?