Unrighteous anger is anger that is self-focused - about winning your way whether or not it’s based on truth. Your goal is to control. Unrighteous anger reveals insecurities, selfishness, and fear in life around you. You can't fix it, so you yell at it, throw things at it, hit it, and ultimately destroy it. Bottom line: we hate that someone else has control of our situation. We hate that life didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, that we didn't get the job, the mate, or the promotion.

Unrighteous anger can also show up in unforgiveness of others as well as yourself. God is not saying that we have to forget what someone may have done to us (or even what we have done to ourselves). But holding onto that anger, that unforgiveness, will slowly kill you and others around you.


I hear these words and think, can anger really be a good thing? Thank you Jesus that some people are willing to stand up and say no to things. They are willing to fight for the unborn, the neglected, and the ignored. When you are concerned over a situation, sometimes you reach the point when you know there needs to be action to make changes. This righteous anger keeps the situation, the problem, on the front lines. You don't give up in the fight towards truth.

Righteous anger can also be about your own situations when you are harmed, abused, or robbed. You have a right to be mad. It comes down more to how you react, how you verbally and emotionally respond. Sin is in this world. People are going to steal from us, the washing machine is going to break down after having it for one day, the line is still going to be long at Walmart, your food order is going to be wrong for the 3rd time and yes, they should have done this or that but didn't. The question to start asking yourself is: how do you plan on dealing with it? 

The Fine Line Revealed:

Test Your Anger:

When you find yourself angry, aggravated, or frustrated, ask yourself where it's coming from. Take the time to count to 10 if need be, praying and thinking about how you are feeling. Vent in such a way that shares your frustration (to others or God as needed) in a healthy way. I can not tell you how many emails I have put in my draft folder due to anger, only to delete them later once I cooled off.

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him (Proverbs 26:4).

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6).

If It's Unrighteous, Go Deep and Find Out Why:

I get so overwhelmed by the many things I have to do. I feel like a rubber band pulled every which way. This feeling (based on truth sometimes and also based on my own failure to plan better, say no, etc.) can quickly cause me to get angry with family, friends and even total strangers. Unfortunately I have burned some bridges with people due to my anger. Anger that has been my own fault. I am thankful that over time I find myself in those same places, I recognize the source and I can quickly calm down. And when I find out the source, I choose how to fix or manage it.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires (James 1:19-20).

(Note: Sometimes our anger is so deep, from so much hurt, there is not quick solution. This is when it’s critical to gets some professional help. I love counselors and think everyone should take the time to see one. Don't let them enemy continue to control your life. Do what you need to do to get better.)