I think I'm not on the same page in this discussion (confusion generally being my default setting) so I'm looking for clarification and thinking out loud.
As Michelle wrote, we may have multiple emotions simultaneously.
I didn't say that, although I suppose it's true, but I'm not really sure. I kind of think one emotion usually rises to the surface. I'm not well versed in psychology, though.
I would argue that anger combined with compassion will, in many cases, motivate us to act to promote justice where compassion alone might not.
I don't understand what you mean. Are you saying that compassion is a weak motivation for action? If a person claims to have compassion but fails to act within his ability to do so, is that real compassion?
I suppose there are many people for whom anger is their greatest motivation. Angry people put me off and I don't like to be around them much. I, personally, do not enjoy the experience of being angry. The accompanying rush of adrenaline, with redness of face, a racing heart, the loss of fine motor control, and the staccato speech at higher pitch and volume is not comfortable for me. Perhaps my definition of anger
is too narrow, as my definition of compassion
seems to be.
And this would be especially true if we witness the wrong rather than hearing about it second hand.
Huh? If we are eye witness to an injustice, we are more needful of anger in order to act because...? And yet, hearing about an injustice second hand somehow lessens the need for an angry response?
I just took a break to get some coffee and had the thought that perhaps you weren't talking about the need
for an angry response, but were talking about the reality
of an angry response. We see an injustice, we get angry and act; we see an injustice, we feel any other emotion and become apathetic. Again, maybe my definitions of certain emotions needs work...
I believe anger is a more powerful emotion than sadness or compassion, thus we must be careful. There isn't much need to caution regarding the emotion of compassion!
What does it mean to 'be careful' of your anger. Could you provide an example from your own life of when you carefully wielded your anger righteously?
Frankly, the way you implied that compassion could turn into apathy, there is plenty need to caution believers about compassion. James 2:16 leaps to my mind.
Why do we need another verse? We have Jesus as our example and Paul's statement in Ephesians 4:26 is, as mentioned, in the form of a command, first to do something, and then not to do something. The "not" can not be moved back to refer to "be angry". Every expositor I have looked at regarding the sense of the Greek says it is either a command or at minimum permissive of anger. Just do not sin in your anger.
Homer, I may have really misunderstood your meaning in this whole post, so forgive me, and correct me, if I'm wrong. Do you believe that it is a command that we be angry? Have I, once again, missed the mark since I try to eliminate anger at all times?