“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)
“I want to know the difference between righteous anger and hate.” My friend looked up at the kind elderly man who was teaching on love. “I've been wronged, but I want to know how to handle it rightly.”
Wronged? More than just a little. Her smiled denied the facts of her life—a man with multiple affairs, drugs, and abandonment. Her life now, riding with her parents in their mini-van and working a day job while her kids hung out with their grandma. I broke for her.
The teacher looked at her kindly. “Allow righteous anger to go forth,” he said, “but don't allow hate to abide within.”
Sometimes, in our attempts at forgiveness and holiness, we never allow ourselves to feel righteous anger.
Responding to sin passively makes you a partaker of sin. God is always angry with sin, but loves the sinner. Scripture tells us God is angry with sinners every single day. Why then do we feel that we should meet full-on sin with a smile and a gesture of “peace”?
Hate, Jesus tells us, puts us in the murderous category. When we hate, we take life, albeit emotionally rather than physically. Hate wants to ruin the person who hurt you. Hate wants to get even or take revenge. Hate begins to place itself in the judgment seat and forgets that God is the avenger.
Righteous anger hates the sin (even with vengeance), but stays free. Freedom can happen most when there are walls wanting to cage you in, but you fly up and out. Your spirit is made to soar, destined by a Creator God to use its wings.
Even the eagle begins to fall when he flaps his wings. But if he spreads them out and holds them still, he soars. Friend, you can do that regardless of your circumstance because God's gift is free and is not bought by the good actions of another. You don't need a perfect man to purchase freedom because the perfect Son of Man walked this earth to purchase it for you.
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