Grant Swank
So you're good and angry, are you?
By Grant Swank
April 23, 2009

Remember the "good" part. For sometimes it is good to get good and angry.

Are you?

If you have been ditched by the system, betrayed by the higher-ups, lied about, cheated, undercut, manipulated, twisted and turned in the night winds, then you have the human / mortal right to be good and angry.

If you have lost your salary, your pulpit, your parsonage, your health coverage, then I would think that you could be good and angry.

Tell your spouse that this goes for her / him as well.

And be sure to tell your children that they can get in on all this, painful though it be.

You see, good and angry is quite different from bad and angry.

Bad and angry takes place when road rage explodes on the interstate. And when a parent beats up a child because he is crying too long in his crib. And when Hitler gasses Jews in roasting ovens across the German plains.

That twosome — bad and angry — should never be exhibited by a rational adult — Christian or not. However, if it is exhibited by a slip of the spirit, where there is repentance, there is forgiveness and "startover" with the Father.

But let's get back to you — shredded by the churchly clique, broadsided by the ecclesiastical politicians and knocked down / dragged out by the congregation's church boss.

So you are good and angry.

Go for it.

Your shrink will tell you that all this good and angry is healthy, cleansing, necessary, therapeutic. And your shrink is correct. To suppress legitimate anger will cause a grand, neurotic swell-up in future time; no need for that.

So let loose.

Jesus did. He got good and angry when the religious clique stocked Him at every turn, twisting His teachings into nonsense, lying about His personhood, questioning His integrity and just plain seeking to undo His holy mission.

How did Jesus express his good and anger?

He gave the plotters riddles instead of straight answers. He told them that they were the children of the Devil, not of the Father. He ignored them on occasion when He then took trusted disciples aside to explain to them His lessons not fit for the reprobate.

Jesus instructed His followers in how to be good and angry. He informed them that they were to know the enemy as snakes — being as harmless as doves yet wise as the serpents. If they were to be Jesus-like, then they could act out the Jesus-like good and angry.

On at least two occasions — at the start and finish of His public ministry — Jesus overturned the hypocrites' merchant tables, sending pigeons and coins aflying. He was good and angry. After all, the religious empties were desecrating Father's holy house of prayer. Son would not stand for it; therefore, He gave forth with a dramatic public display of good and angry.

I know that it all comes down to motive. If you work your anger from a motive that is seeking revenge, then that is not good anger. But if you are working your anger because you are distraught with the evil presence in God's otherwise holy church, then you are in league with Jesus. If you are working your anger because of defending with conviction the eternal truths, then you are right up there with Jesus.

Ask Martin Luther about good and angry. Ask John Wesley. Ask John Huss. Ask Joan of Arc. Ask Desmund Tutu. Ask Billy Graham. Ask Mother Teresa. These persons, and scores more, have been overcome with the holy anger of the Spirit.

In that, they have warred against the demons, calling truth truth, not tolerating the tawdry nor compromising. They have labeled wickedness wickedness, sin sin, and stood alongside justice while others sought shelter beneath convenient roofs of selfish protection.

These good and angry disciples of the cross have put their honesties on the line for God, no matter what the consequences.

Check it out.

If your anger rightfully has "good" attached to it, then let the anger work its therapeutic healing for your cleansing and the furtherance of the gospel's integrity.

© Grant Swank


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Grant Swank

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is a pastor at New Hope Church in Windham, Maine... (more)

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