Righteous anger is a divine emotion, but it is anger directed toward evil rather than all the people and things in our life that
inconvenience us. If we are going to get angry, why not get angry enough at poverty to do something about it? Or so angry at human trafficking that you pray and participate in some way in rescuing those enslaved by this terrible tragedy?
Recently one of our medical teams was in an area of the world where sex trafficking is rampant, and due to the extreme poverty that exists there, many parents sell off one or two of their children for five hundred dollars in order to prevent the other five or six from starving. They rationalize that at least the ones they sell will be fed, and the price they get for them will feed the ones
who are left behind. They have no true understanding that they are selling their children into a life of torment, disease, and
slavery. Thankfully, we are negotiating right now with traffickers in that area to buy the girls back—girls who were already in a container waiting to be shipped to another country where they would be forced into prostitution.
It will cost three thousand dollars but is worth every penny to save them from
the life they would be facing. We are angry about this evil in the world today, but it is a righteous anger that moves us to
action. I wasted too much of my life in unrighteous anger, being angry because I wasn’t getting everything I wanted, and
I refuse to waste any more of it. Are you at that point yet? I hope you are, and that you willstart being in control of your anger instead of allowing it to control you.
While there is righteous anger, that usually isn’t the kind of anger we experience. Moreover, that isn’t what gets us into
trouble. The type of anger that we usually feel is unrighteous anger. It is the anger that triggers pain and damage not only to
others but also to ourselves.
The emotion of unrighteous anger is a disease waiting to happen. Frequent anger places undue stress on us and is the
root cause of many illnesses. Doctors from Coral Gables,
Florida, compared the efficiency of the heart’s pumping action in eighteen men with coronary artery disease to nine healthy controls. Each of the study participants underwent one physical
stress test (riding an exercise bicycle) and three mental stress tests (doing math problems in their heads, recalling a recent
incident that had made them very angry, and giving a short speech to defend themselves against a hypothetical charge of shoplifting).
Using sophisticated X-ray techniques, the doctors took pictures of the subjects’ hearts in action during these tests.
For all the subjects, anger reduced the amount of blood that the heart pumped to body tissues more than the other tests
did, and this was especially true for those who had heart disease.
The doctors administering the tests commented, “Why anger is so much more potent than fear or mentalstress is
anybody’s guess. But until we see more research on this subject, it couldn’t hurt to count to ten before you blow your
God’s interpretation of “Don’t blow your stack” is “Hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14). He has given us His peace, but we have to hold on to it when the temptation to lose it arrives at our doorstep. I know that it is possible to break the habit of letting the emotion of unrighteous anger control us and to enjoy the peace of God at all times.