Righteous Anger


I was unfamiliar with the term until I was in seminary. When I felt angry, it inevitably led to feelings of remorse or guilt. Until one day, someone pointed out that anger is a God-given human emotion that could be a good or bad thing. After all, Jesus was more than a little angry with the money changers in the temple, and yet he was sinless. It seems anger may well be justified when sin is involved. Here is a great article on the subject.

But here is the rub for parents. How do we handle our anger with the kids? Do we react without the benefit of thinking about what we are saying? Or do we thoughtfully respond with instruction? (I know which camp I commonly fall into, thus the feelings of remorse or guilt). For some, the anger goes way beyond what is healthy, and they hold a grudge, hurt relationships, and ultimately allow anger to turn into bitterness that is a permanent barrier in the relationship. Sometimes this is the case with our own parents, even as adults. The Bible tells us that bitterness is a root that affects all of those around us.

Of course the Bible has a lot more to say to hotheads. Check out Proverbs 12:16 among many other passages. However, it is clear that anger is not a sin in and of itself. I have just got to make sure it is handled correctly, benefited by rational thought, leads to instruction, and does not compound the situation as my flesh is prone to do.


Until next time,



About Jeffrey D. Potts, Ed.D.

Raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, Jeff Potts, Ed.D., grew up learning the importance of hard work and family values. A graduate of Baylor University, he has master’s degrees from two universities and earned his Ed.D. in teaching and learning from a fourth institution. Potts launched his pedagogical career in the 1990s, working full-time with students and parents. READ MORE→