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Anger is an emotion characteristic both of God and humans who have been created in His image. God is not capable of unrighteous anger and thereby condemns it in His children as an offense to His glory. However, God displays just, righteous anger when His glory is offended and expects His creatures to do the same.

Righteous Anger

Unrighteous Anger

Deep-seated, determined and settled conviction.

Outward boiling-over rage or inward seething resentment.

Demonstrated when God does not get what He wants (Psm. 7:11).

Demonstrated when I do not get what my flesh wants (Gal. 5:20).

Motivated by a love for God (Job. 32:2).

Motivated by a love for self (1 Ki. 21:4; 2 Ki. 5:12).

Commended by God (Eph. 4:26; Jon. 4:4).

Condemned by God (Eph. 4:31).

Sin (of omission) when it is not exercised.

Sin (of commission) when it is exercised.

Demonstrates righteousness (Zeph. 2:3), specifically holiness (Ez 43:8).

Demonstrates unrighteousness (Jas. 1:19-20), specifically murder (Mt. 5:21-22).

Shows my Lord to be Christ.

Shows my lord to be self.

Occurs when God’s will is violated (Dt. 9:16-17)

Occurs when my will is violated (Nu. 24:10; Dan. 3:13).

Rooted in a zeal for God’s glory (Dt. 7:4; 32:16, 21; 2 Ki. 21:6, 15; 22:17).

Rooted in a zeal for personal glory (Est. 5:9).

Imitates godly examples (Jesus-Mk. 3:5; Paul-Ac. 17:16; Moses-Ex. 11:8; 32:19).

Imitates ungodly examples (Cain-Gen. 4:5-12; Saul-1 Sa. 20:30-33; Herod-Mt. 2:16).

Produced by the Holy Spirit (Jud. 14:19).

Produced by the flesh (Gal. 5:19-20).

Demonstrates self-control, patience, goodness (Gal. 5:22-23) and wisdom.

Demonstrates the absence of self-control, patience, goodness (Gal. 5:19-21) and wisdom (Pr. 29:11; Ecc. 7:9; Jas. 3:13-18).

Leads to favor from God, increased Christian maturity, deeper assurance, joy, eternal rewards and other righteous actions (i.e. prayer, evangelism, financial support, bold articulate stance for the truth, service).

Leads to other sins (Pr. 29:22; Psm. 37:8) such as bitterness, stubbornness, hate, refusing to communicate, rebellion, self-pity, withdrawal, sulking, critical spirit, vengeance, unwholesome words and rejoicing in another’s misfortune.

Improves our relationship with God.

Destroys our relationship with God (Gen 49:7) and others (Pr. 30:33).

Imitates God (Eph. 5:1), shows evidence of salvation (Eph. 5:9; Phil. 1:11) and increases unity in the church (Phil. 2:2).

Grieves the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:20), gives Satan an opportunity (Eph. 4:27), promotes sin (Gen. 4:5-7), destroys one’s testimony (Phil. 2:14-15) and disrupts unity in the church (Eph. 4:3).

Seeks to please God (Psm. 119:53).

Seeks to please self.

Must be "put on" (Eph. 4:24).

Must be "put off" (Eph. 4:31).

Brings God’s pleasure (Isa. 13:3).

Brings God’s wrath (Col. 3:6).

Practice reveals my future is heaven.

Practice reveals my future is hell (Gal. 5:20-21; Mt. 5:22).


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