HOW TO BE GOOD AND ANGRY
“We are flawed people in relationships with flawed people, living in a fallen world, but with a faithful God. Christ in us will empower us to increasingly engage our fallen planet with the restorative anger of love, the rescuing anger of mercy, and the advocacy anger of justice. May this conference and study guide be instrumental in helping us grow in Christ likeness, reflecting His love and His anger at the same time.”
BEING GOOD AND ANGRY
“One of the necessary components of our broken world is anger. Because if this world is broken, if it’s not the way it’s supposed to be, then it’s right at points to be motivated by anger. Anger is not just a bad thing; anger is also a very good thing, and we better know the difference. God’s grace is not supposed to make us unangry. God’s grace is supposed to make us good and angry, at the same time.”
TWO PARALLEL ANGERS
“You see people’s anger; and then you see moments when God is clearly angry, but it’s something good, because God is trying to preserve this world that He has made. The drama of Scripture in a real way is the drama of these two angers living alongside one another, and you just know they’re going to explode in a moment.”
God’s righteous anger is the hope of the universe; our unholy anger is our doom.
OUR STRUGGLE WITH ANGER
“If you ever want to understand your anger, you have to look this way (inward), because your anger is connected not just to events outside of you; your anger is connected to something going one inside of you. You will never gain ground with your anger unless you get this.”
Anger is connected to our desires and therefore anger is connected to worship. (Romans 1:25)
WHEN GOOD THINGS BECOME BAD THINGS
“I was never meant to have a life that is driven by what I want and where I want it and when I want it and how I want it and why I want it and all of those things. I was meant to live in the transcendent big sky country of God’s existence and God’s grace and God’s will and God’s plan.”
A desire for even a good thing becomes a bad thing when that desire becomes a ruling thing.
A GOOD DESIRE BECOMES A RULING DESIRE
“I want _____.” (Desire)
?“I must have______.” (Demand)
?“I will have______.” (Need)
“You should______.” (Expectation)
“You didn’t______.” (Disappointment)
Therefore, “I will______.” (Punishment)
HORIZONTAL PROBLEM, VERTICAL SOLUTION
“It’s not enough for us as Christians to believe in life after death; we better believe in life before death: a quality of love and peace, a quality of existence in our relationships and situations that would not be possible apart from the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did not die just for your future; Jesus Christ died for your here-and-now! Praise Him!”
We must learn to love God and place Him in the center of our universe. We cannot keep the second big commandment, if we are not keeping the first big commandment first.
GOD WANTS YOU TO BE GOOD AND ANGRY
“Our problem is not just that we are angry. Our problem is that we are angry in all the wrong places for all the wrong reasons.”
We must move, by God’s grace, from our own self-focused anger to God’s big, beautiful and constructive anger.
Dismantling Idols: Learning to Worship the True King
1. Name it. Confess it. “Lord, this is what I have wrapped my heart around.” (Example: position, possessions, people, power, approval, comfort, security…)
2. Repent. Turn to God. Draw near to Him—James 4:6-10. Spend time with Him. Talk to Him about your struggles. Write out your prayers.
3. Unmask the idol for what it is. It appears desirous and beautiful, but it is a fraud and worshipping and living for it will only bring destruction. Compare what your idol does for you with what Jesus has done and continues to do for you. Write out a list comparing both lovers. Talk to Jesus about this.
4. Meditate on Isaiah 44:9-23 and Psalm 115. Recognize the excellence of your new King in comparison with your old ruling idol/master.
Here are some essentials to gain victory over your anger.
REJOICE IN JESUS
As you rejoice in Jesus, your affection for you old lover/master will gradually decrease and you will be drawn more and more to Him. Spend time daily with Him, meditating on a portion of God’s Word. Write down on an index card each day one verse that caught your attention. Carry it with you and reread to yourself at different times during the day. It will keep your mind focused on God and His kingdom.
It is like getting over an old boyfriend/girlfriend. The more you get to know your true lover, you begin to see all the flaws, selfishness and abuse of your old lover. What used to look like gold and silver was just a cover up for what was underneath—just a stump of old dry wood—and you were becoming just like it.
Remember, rejoicing in Christ as a replacement for idols is a process…be patient…your heart will warm up more and more and you will come alive with joy. The Holy Spirit is your helper, pouring out God’s love into your heart.?(Romans 5:1-5; Ephesians 1:17-23; 3:15-21))
The above is a synopsis of a powerful conference taught by Dr. Paul David Tripp and Lois Kehlenbrink, contributors, Redeemer Counseling Services in conjunction with Revive Our Hearts ministries. To obtain these resources, go to