The Myth of “Righteous Anger”

Search “righteous anger” on Bible Gateway

Since I know you didn’t actually do that, let me tell you what it says. Nothing shows up.

Those two words don’t appear side by side in the Bible. 

In fact, James 1:20 says quite the opposite

{for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God}

So where did this term come from?

Who came up with the idea of “righteous anger”?

Who decided that as Christians it would be righteous of us to be angry, even if our anger is directed towards sin? 

God doesn’t need our anger or want our anger. He didn’t call us to anger. He called us to love. That’s what Jesus emphasized over and over during His earthly ministry. 

If anyone were going to be angered by sin, it should have been Jesus. He was the one they were sinning against. He was the one who was going to have to bleed and die for it. And He is the only one to ever walk this earth and not be just like them — sinners. And yet there are very few times when the Bible mentions Jesus getting angry or acting in anger. 

Jesus didn’t ignore the injustices all around Him, but rather than letting His actions be fueled by anger, He let them be fueled by compassion and love. 

Love is what God commands in the Great Commandment. Love is what Paul describes as bearing, believing, hoping, and enduring all things (1 Corinthians 13:8). Love is what Jesus showed on the cross to a broken and dying world, devoid of any reason to be loved. Love is what no one deserves, by what Christ calls us to show. 

Anger won’t draw anyone to the Father, but love will

“Jesus will not accept the common distinction between righteous indignation and unjustifiable anger. The disciple must be entirely innocent of anger, because anger is an offence against both God and his neighbour.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There are surely injustices in this world. There are surely things we must fight against in this world. But rather than convincing ourselves that our anger towards these things is righteous and is what should be going on, why don’t we focus on letting love drive us to do great things. To share hope and comfort with this broken world. And to point every person that we see back to Jesus. 

I’m not here to tell you you’re an awful human for getting angry. I’m here to tell you that unless we do something with that anger, unless we allow Christ to take it from us and replace it with love and passion to do something about the injustice in our world, then it’s meaningless. And worse than that, it’s stealing our joy. 

When you really think about it, why would we want to be angry in the first place? I sure don’t want to be. I don’t like how it makes me feel and I certainly don’t like the person that I am when I’m angry. So, as much as possible, I’m going to choose not to be angry. Even if it seems like I’m in the right, or that my anger may be “righteous”. I don’t want to choose anger anymore, I want to choose love. 

Taryn

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Above the Noise

2 Kings 19:11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Let me tell you, my life has been chaotic recently. 

And I thought I could handle it too, with my willpower and genius time management, I was gonna make it through. 

Check every box and write every essay and keep every commitment — oh yeah, and in the meantime keep a smile on my face and look like I have my life together. 

But you know what?

That’s not the goal. 

This blog post is a sermon to myself and a lesson some of my best friends have been trying to teach me for a long time. 

I. Can’t. Do. Everything. 

And you know what finally made me realize it?

Rest.

The beauty of rest. 

God created and set aside a while day each week for rest. Sabbath. To be in the quiet and commune with Him. To slow down and let the true priorities take their place. 

When I’m running a million miles an hour, I love the rush of adrenaline, I love the feeling of productivity and accomplishment… but I lose the little things. 
Life is full of tasks and checklists, but all the beauty in the little things are choked out. 


The beauty of laughing and long walks with dear friends. The beauty of tea dates and phone calls with friends in other states. The beauty of taking my little siblings to the library or reading a book just for fun. 

And you know what else gets choked out?

The voice of God. 

Going back to 1 Kings which I referenced in the beginning, Elijah was surrounded by the whirlwind of life. But that’s not where God was.

God came in the still small voice, and we have to be still and calm to be able to find them there.

When I’m caught up in the hubbub and rush of life, I’m not going to hear Him. I’m not going to see Him.

Last week, I was rereading a letter my best friend wrote me during freshman year. She told me that God doesn’t knock us flat on our backs so that we will walk right back to the things that knocked us down.

This semester has already knocked me down. And it’s knocking me down over and over, because I’m not letting God speak into it. I’m not letting His still small voice lead me, but rather I’m being led by the busyness and agendas and craziness that I’ve inflicted upon myself.

One of the first Bible passages I ever memorized was Psalm 23, which says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life.”

God wants to give me rest. And I want to learn to embrace it. Not to take it as being lazy, but to except it as a gift he has given me to blessed me in so many ways. And also to allow me to fully experience my relationship with him in the way it supposed to be.

I want to really learn what it means to be still and know that he is God. (Psalm 46:10)

Taryn

You Can’t Earn Love

Most days, I don’t think I deserve love. I don’t think I deserve to have friends. I don’t think I deserve to be liked. 
And you know what?

I don’t. 

Because in the grand scheme of things, I don’t deserve anything good in this life. 

Romans 3 and 6 clearly tell me that I am a sinner only deserving of death, and I can’t deny it. 

BUT (Romans 5) God proved that He loved me anyway when He sent Jesus to die for me. 

And it’s high time that I stopped telling Him He’s wrong. 

God, you shouldn’t love me. Do you not see how messed up I am? God, why do my parents or friends love me? I’m not worth it. I’m a burden. 

Taryn. Did I ask you if you were worth it when I died for you? No. I love you. Accept my love. 

How ungrateful must I be to tell God He is wrongly living me? Shouldn’t I instead be thanking Him for His unending grace and love? And for giving me people to love me too?

I want to spend less time thinking I’m not worth it and more time thanking the people that don’t care if I’m worth it or not. 

Because you know what? I can’t earn love and I don’t deserve it. But my God is good. And He doesn’t give me what I deserve. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1) and He sure has blessed me royally. 

So to all of my friends out there reading this who love me so much and so well, thank you. I don’t say that enough. Thank you, you guys are absolutely amazing. And God? Thank You, I know I’m living for Heaven and not here, but You’ve made here pretty great too:):)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

— Taryn

How Deep the Father’s Love

How deep the Father’s love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

Why should I gain from His great loss?

I can not give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom


God loves us so well and so abundantly. And He reveals it in the most breathtaking ways. 

If you could know the future, would you want to?

If you could choose to know what the greatest hardship in your life would be, would you want to know now?

If you knew how and when the person you love most was going to die, would you do anything differently?

If you could somehow control whether or not they had to die, but the stakes were very high, what would you choose?

I was in tears this weekend as I considered these mind boggling concepts. How would I handle it as a parent watching my child struggle through a fatal illness? Knowing the doctor’s verdict carried little hope. I don’t know that I could do it, I’m almost sure that I couldn’t. 

But God did.

God did that — and He did it for me. Because He loves me that much!!

That hit me hard this weekend. God sent His Son. His one and only Son. His Son that He loves perfectly. He sent Him to die, to be torchered and mocked and beaten and crucified. How?!? It would have been so much easier, in my opinion, to take it Himself. How could He bear to watch that?!?

Because He loves me. 

I’m not in the least deserving of that love. And yet my LORD offers it freely to me and at the highest of costs to Him. 

In the last moments of Jesus’ suffering on earth, the Father had to turn away. He couldn’t even watch His Son suffer and die because He couldn’t in His holiness look at the sin Jesus was taking on His shoulders. 

That’s how deeply the Father loves us. 

If I could choose to see the future,  I would have to choose not to. I couldn’t handle it. But that is a post for another day. Today, the main point I wanted to make is simply that God did. He loves me more than I could ever comprehend. Through all my rebellion and failures. He loves me so much He sent His Son to die. 

 I never want to lose the gravity of that.

Taryn

10 Things I Learned My First Semester in College

Hey everyone!

So technically, I’m not done with college until next week, but as I’m in the midst of finals and projects and all of that fun stuff *not* I had all of these things bouncing around in my mind and wanted to go ahead and get them out there:) Some are basic college tips, some are about life and growing up, and as always, God has revealed some pretty awesome things to me about Himself as well. Thank you to everyone who has come on this journey with me through reading my thoughts a couple times every week, you’re brave 😉 Here we go!
1. Use Rate My Professor — Just do it. Of course it’s beneficial to stay away from the bad professors, but also, look around and figure out who those professors are that you just have to have. This may be just me, but it’s much easier to get myself up and to class in the morning when I’m actually excited for the lectures. I have two professors whom I absolutely love and that gets me to class on days I really don’t want to go.

2. You have to be proactive about making friends — In high school, especially going to a small private school, making friends came naturally. Here on a campus with 30,000 people, I could easily go all semester without speaking to anyone *guilty as charged* I told my Mom I have one and two-half friends on campus, and even that is a stretch. Honestly, I know some of my professors better than any classmates! I’m pretty upset with myself and how I let this semester get away from me. Be willing to start conversations, get to know the people around you, it won’t just happen if you don’t put any effort in.

3. Go to office hours and ask questions — I already mentioned that my two “best friends” on campus are professors, and this may sound really nerdy, but talking to professors excites me so much!! They are such smart people! I love asking questions after class or going to office hours to talk about things in more depth. They love when students come to talk to them about things other than makeup exams and late assignments. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge at your disposal!

4. I’m no longer a slave to fear — I have sang these lyrics for years, but honestly sang them without much thought. It seemed like a no-brainer because I had never felt enslaved to fear in the first place. Until this semester. I have no idea how or why, but anxiety has been taking hold of my life bit by bit this semester. And honestly, it seems like it is still getting worse before it gets better. The littlest things can set me completely off, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night absolutely sure that something terrible has happened. I worry about anything and everything, and yes, I know the Bible says “do not worry” 365 times. But when I go into panic, I have no control over that. I make myself physically sick and life seems completely and utterly overwhelming.

Now all that sounds really negative and not at all like something I’ve learned this semester. But God has been right here leading and guiding me through. Even though I can’t always feel His presence. He keeps reminding me through His words and promises that His grace is still more than sufficient, He has a hold of me and is never letting me go, and although Satan wants me to be afraid, I am no longer a slave to fear. He has called me by name and I am His. I am His child, and nothing can ever change that. He wants me and loves me just as I am, anxiety and all. And that is something worth rejoicing and celebrating about.

5. Don’t take all your classes on one day — Especially seven. Don’t do seven classes in one day. Because inevitably exams and group projects come up and you will be at school for 14 hours straight. I won’t make that mistake again.

6. You’re not a failure — In a way, these next three all flow together. I have always been a perfectionist and put way to much pressure on myself. But I finally had to realize that I’m not a failure by Christ’s standards. I can’t make everyone happy. Not my friends or family or professors or even myself — and that’s not the goal. The goal is to pursue Christ with everything I’ve got and let that be enough. And when I do that, “failing” is irrelevant.

7. Push yourself, but give some grace too — I had to realize this semester that I couldn’t push myself in absolutely every area or I was going to crash. I pushed myself to take a lot of classes, so I had to realize I couldn’t beat myself up if I couldn’t keep a 4.0. There’s balance in life. I worked incredibly hard and studied for all my exams, but some nights I just needed to read and eat ice cream and forget about it all for a few hours. You won’t survive without the grace, so don’t feel guilty for it.

8. To say no! — Yes, that extra Bible Study on Thursday nights would be great. Yes, going to the grocery store every single week would help my family out a lot. Yes, I would love to be able to take my siblings to McDonald’s and the library all the time. My two best friends are captains of their soccer and basketball teams and I would love to be at all of their games. But I can’t do everything. Even all the good things. Even all the things I want to do. So sometimes I have to step back and say no to things, even good things, so that I can say yes to the things that are really most important.

9. Group projects aren’t pretty – -True story. I have a group project due on Monday for a group that has seven people in it. We had our first meeting three weeks ago and four people showed up. The next three still haven’t ever done their parts. Some people don’t care, some people never text back, and that’s going to have to be okay. You aren’t responsible for all of them, just do your best and let it go:)

10. God has already won — In a song by my favorite band, Anthem Lights, they sing Our King has won the war, He reigns forevermore, Hallelujah Hallelujah

The lyrics are simple but so true. God has displayed that truth in my life over and over this semester. When I struggled with health issues, He reminded me that He was the ultimate healer and His ways are so much higher than my own (Isaiah 55:9). When I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks, He reminded me that He was my peace and He was never ever leaving me (Isaiah 26:3). When Satan threatened to attack, when I ran out of time to study for my math exam, when everything around me tried to knock me down… God had already won. He is so much bigger than anything I faced this semester and then anything I will ever face. He speaks victory over me, and I get to live in that victory every day for the rest of my life.


Wow, as much as I wanted to share all of this with you guys, it also reminds me of how faithful my God is and makes me realize how much He has brought me through and taught me over these past four months. I can’t wait to take on whatever He has next, however crazy, I know that His grace will be more than sufficient for all of it.

Taryn

To Be a Light to the World… you have to be in the World

“You are the light of the world, a city situated on a hill can not be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand and it give light to all who are in the house. In the same way let you light shine before men so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

I live in a Christian bubble. I’ve grown up in church, attending a Christian school, and sheltered from a lot of things. I don’t view that as a bad thing. It’s been a blessing to be raised in an environment that nourished and nurtured my faith. 

But now I’m 18. I’m an adult. I’m about to step out into the real world. And I don’t want to be afraid of it. 

God calls us to be in the world and not of it. But I feel like we focus on the second part of that command a lot more than the first part. God calls us to be in the world!

If I’m going to be a light to the world, I have to be in the world to shine my light. My youth pastor likes to talk about how we build disciples to send them out. We can’t just build disciples forever and never send them to do anything. 

To be honest, that’s scary to me! My safe little Christian world looks great to me. And I really do have more gifts and abilities towards discipleship than evangelism. But just because I’m great at one doesn’t annul my responsibility to the other. 

God called me to go make disciples. Look carefully at the wording of some of Jesus last words on earth, 

“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” — Mark 16:15

To proclaim the gospel, we first have to go into all the world. 

Here’s where it gets touchy. 

In our world today, controversy is swirling, boycotts are surrounding us, and Christians are taking stands against all kinds of things. We stay away from the “secular” (which we synonymize with evil) world and the “sinners” that are different from us. I’m as guilty of this as the next person, but God has been laying something different on my heart recently. 

How are Christians supposed to minister and spread the gospel in a world we are staying away from? How are we supposed to be a light to people we avoid? It doesn’t work!

To follow God’s call to be a light, we have to go into dark places. We have to step outside of our safety bubble into the unknown. We have to forego safety and comfort, but it’s more than worth it, and honestly, we don’t have a choice. We, the church, God’s people, are commanded to carry His Name and Good News to the world. Every tribe, every nation. Not select people, not people that haven’t committed a certain sin or only people who have a fairly “respectable” background. 

Sin is in the world. And it’s wrong. I’m not denying that. I’m not suggesting that we overlook sin and darkness, that we condone the evil in the world. What I am suggesting is that we bring light to those places. That we love like Jesus loved. Disciples and tax collectors, Jews and Greeks, children and adults, rich and poor.

We are a part of this dark world as much as anyone. We are just as much sinners, just as dirty, just as in need of our Savior’s cleansing blood. But once He has washed us and filled us with His light, it’s our duty to go spread that light. Not because we’re better than the world, but because we want them to have the hope and salvation we do. We should want that for everyone. And we should be willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. 

What is True Love?

What is true love? Well, let me start by telling you what I know it isn’t. Love is not a feeling, because feelings change day in and day out and 1 Corinthians 13 clearly states that “Love never ends”. Now, I’ve always known in my head that love isn’t a feeling, but I didn’t realize until recently quite how diverse love really is. Love is based on actions. Love is putting someone else above yourself and being willing to do whatever it takes to take care of them. Love is wanting the absolute best for that person, and pursuing that selflessly. But that can look different for different people and at different times.

Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained. — C. S. Lewis

Love doesn’t always, and honestly rarely does, look like a knight in shining armor saving a damsel in distress. But even thinking realistically, in my day to day life, love takes many different forms. On days that I’m happy and life is good, I am receptive to my friends and family showing me they love me by saying kind and encouraging things, by planning fun things for us to do together, or by giving me hugs. But on days where I’m feeling my lowest, those things aren’t what I need. Sometimes I just need someone to sit quietly next to me while I cry or to listen to me rant for a while.

I’ve been overwhelmed this year with all of the different things that love looks like. It can take completely opposite forms at different times. Sometimes it means talking to someone for hours, and sometimes it means understanding that they aren’t ready to talk about something or are too busy to do so. Sometimes it looks like making a big deal out of someone’s birthday, while other times it means knowing that they just need calm and quiet.

Through all the ups and downs of life there’s a few things that I’ve learned are constant about love. Patience. Love always looks like putting the other person before yourself. The opposite of love is not hate, but rather selfishness. That always requires being patient and understanding. Stepping back and remembering that this person is so important to you and it’s more than worth it to be patient and loving.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” — 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

I’ve learned that I love lots of different people in lots of different ways, and that’s how God designed life in community to be lived out. I’m so blessed by the people God has surrounded me with, to share His love with and to be loved by. He’s shown me that He is the standard of true love, that true love was demonstrated for me on the cross, and that I need to strive to live with that kind of love every day. Selfless. Relentless. True.