This article is not what I had planned. I planned a self-righteous angle on a topic, but this morning everything changed.
My wife, Ali, and I were laying in bed last night and I asked for her opinion on this article. She, in a very loving and direct way, said, “Honestly, I don’t know what you’re writing about. And, I don’t know why you’re writing it.”
Fumbling over my words, I ended up excusing my lack of explanation as “being tired.” But that was a lie.
The main thrust of the article was going to be about why it us wrong and hurtful to open the door for me. My opening line was going to be “Don’t open the door for me. I’m disabled, not dead.”
I told you it was going to be self-righteous.
I didn’t know why I was going to write about why people opening the door for me bothers me.
Then it hit me.
I was angry.
Was My Anger Righteous?
Only recently have I learned how to assess my heart to see if my anger is righteous or not. So, here’s what I have learned about assessing anger:
Righteous Anger Reacts against Actual Sin
Does someone opening the door for me break God’s law found in the Bible? Does that act fall short of loving God and loving others?
No. Opening the door for me is not objectively sin, as its defined in the Bible. (0/1)
Righteous Anger Focuses on God and his concerns (not me and my concerns)
Does someone opening the door for me offend God, not just me? Simply put: is this about God (not just me)?
No. Opening the door for me is primarily offensive to me and debatably offensive to God. (0/2)
Righteous Anger Coexists with Other Godly Qualities and Expresses Itself in Godly Ways
Is someone opening the door for me followed by the Fruit of the Spirit? Am I expressing my anger in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc?
No. Opening the door for me is hardly ever followed by a Godly expression. (0/3)
RESULT: Sinful Anger. It was not sin, it was about me, not God, and I expressed my anger in ungodly ways.
When I assessed myself, I was unrighteously angry about someone opening the door for me. I repented on the spot.
An Opportunity to Test Myself
Two hours after this time of conviction and repentance, I was presented with a test.
As I entered a doctor’s office, a woman at the front desk made eye contact with me. She bolted for the door. She swung the door open with a big smile on her face.
I quickly told her, “I’m okay. I’m okay. No thanks.” But she still held it. So, in my head, I quickly went down the three necessities for righteous anger.
First step: Is this sin?
No. Okay, so there’s no need for anger. Love her and move on with your appointment. Simple and yet profound.
When you get angry, and you definitely will, remember those qualifications for righteous anger. Honestly answer them. Don’t skip or look over one of the qualifications. They’re all essential.
As Paul wrote in his letter to Ephesus
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.Ephesians 4:26-27