I considered anger a useful emotion before I became a Christian. I could summon it at will and with ease, and depend upon it to provide many “benefits”. Following is a partial list:
1) It gave me “energy”
2) It gave me “confidence”
3) It gave me “power”
4) It gave me “dominance”
5) It superseded weakness
6) It superseded uncertainty
7) It superseded embarrassment
8) It superseded fear
9) It superseded pain
Mine was a worldview dominated by “survival value” therefore these benefits were essential tools for success.
If God were a volitional being, he or it was certainly not loving and each of us was alone in this life without supernatural assistance or purpose beyond survival. Therefore the importance, legitimacy, practicality or usefulness of any thought or action was based on its survival value.
In my naturalistic world view anger was the underpinning of the most useful emotions while simultaneously able to overcome and replace the least useful. When properly metered and controlled anger was an essential survival tool that provided an edge to awareness, faster reaction times and that additional aggressive ferociousness always beneficial in the jungle of life.
Yet I doubted this strategy and the goal from which it was derived.
I saw that
1) Anger blocked mercy
2) Anger blocked patience
3) Anger blocked concern
4) Anger blocked empathy
5) Anger blocked compassion
6) Anger blocked grace
7) Anger blocked thoughtfulness
8) Anger blocked caring
9) Anger blocked love
Aren’t these the qualities that separate us from the animals? More than that, aren’t these the qualities that separate us from nature? They don’t make sense in a purely naturalistic reality. Isn’t that because these are supernatural qualities? Beyond nature? Beyond naturalism? Doesn’t possession of these transcendent qualities prove we ourselves are not of this world? That we are more than molecules in motion or “meat machines” fighting for survival?
Something created cannot itself possess qualities not first possessed by its creator. Therefore God, our Creator, must by necessity possess these transcendent qualities.
He proved it on the cross by taking our punishment upon himself. Not by anger, but by His infinite and transcendent character that includes mercy, patience, grace and love.