These days so many people are telling me that they are angry at the things that are happening around them, such as the virus or the war in Ukraine. Understandably, these things should upset us, but it has also become more acceptable to express moral outrage in modern society. Social media is awash with people venting their anger, so that anger is sometimes even perceived as virtuous.
Of course, there are times that godly anger should spur us to godly action, but the Bible also tells us that anger is always dangerous (Ephesians 4:26). Even when we are angry at evil in this world, we need to be careful, because the moment we become self-righteous in our anger, the surer we are that the other person is completely wrong and that we are completely right, the more likely we are to fall into sin. This is where we need to struggle with our anger, rather than simply giving in to feelings of rage.
Even if the thing that is making us angry is a sin that another person has committed, we need to remember that we are sinful as well and that God has forgiven us if we are trusting in Christ. That will help to make us humble because we know that we are failures and deserve punishment too. We should extend forgiveness to others, rather than holding on to feelings of resentment.
We must also humbly leave final judgment to God. There are many problems in this world that we have no control over. These issues are often extremely difficult to solve, and so we should be slow to judge other people if we think that they are not doing a good job. God will hold them accountable for the decisions that they have made; we do not have the right to sit in judgement over them.
Instead, we should focus on the areas where we do have responsibility. Sometimes, people like to get angry about the big problems in society, because it diverts attention from the problems in their own lives. Ask yourself the question: what are the things that you are doing that are sinful, or which are making other people angry? What can you do to address these failures of yours, rather than getting angry about the failures of others? Once we are proactively fighting sin in our lives, we will be in a better place to help others with the problems they are struggling with.