How can we know if we are righteously indignant? If sin angers God, and it does, then our view of sin should be in alignment with His. How we are taught in Scripture to handle wrongs done to us must be in alignment with His will also.
We should be righteously indignant with those who abuse others, murder, rob, extort, slander, lie, involve themselves with pornography or false balances and weights, etc.
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seat of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it den of thieves.” Matthew 21:12-13
As an aside to this lesson, if you read further into this chapter you will see the attitude of the high priests toward our Lord when He became righteously indignant with His Father’s house being used for commerce. The very attitude which nailed our Savior to the cross. Though we may be righteously indignant at wrong within our communities, wrongs done to us personally or wrongs within a nation, we don’t always get a righteous response.
“And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple; and He heard them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; (they were sore displeased,) And said unto Him, Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yes; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise? And He left them, and went out out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged there.” Matthew 21:14-17
In response to our Lord’s righteous indignation, the high priests did not like it when He rebuked them. The high priests knew better, but covetousness became embedded in their hearts by Satan, and our Lord exposed their hypocrisy, which made them even angrier. His rebuke displeased them greatly. Instead of receiving our Lord’s rebuke and humbling themselves, righting the wrong, and asking to be forgiven, they became indignant and swelled with pride.
“Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.” Psalms 28:4
“This is a prayer that the people be rewarded according to their deeds. “Render to them their desert.” This is in keeping with the will of God, which means that it was not improper. However, if the motive had been wrong – prayed out of malice and vindictiveness – it would have been evil in spirit, though it was correct in content. It seems that righteous indignation entered into the prayer, which is not wicked.
If the time comes when a man ceases to become indignant at evil, he has lost his concern for the outcome of the struggle between right and wrong.
The concept of justice in all civilization is that men must account for their deeds. Responsibility requires it. If man could sow idleness and reap plenty, or scatter gossip and harvest goodwill, or disseminate hate and gather love, it would be extremely unfair. It is an equitable and just law of nature and of human behavior that everything and everybody be rewarded in kind. The three laws of sowing and reaping are: you reap what you sow; you reap later than you sow; and you reap more than you sow.” ~ Leroy Brownlow
“The key to understanding righteous anger is by knowing the motivation.” ~ Unknown