Controlled Anger is a Good Thing
Can someone be Angry and still be on the right side of God? I know when I think of an angry person, I think of a Drill Sergeant. A big, burly, tall man, shouting at the top of his lungs with huge veins sticking out on his neck and forehead. He is shouting and cursing at me, belittling me with every lash of the tongue! Oddly enough it is very biblical to be angry and still be a righteous person.
The first place I want to direct you to is the book of Ephesians. In the 4th chapter and the 26th verse, it tells us: “Be angry and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your anger.” What I understand from that verse is three points. First of all, it tells me that I can be angry without forgetting my Father's face. Secondly I see that I can be angry, as long as I keep my composure. Thirdly, I see that when I am angry, I need to take care of it right away. I should not let it fester. Now, if only there was an example that the Savior would show us how He handled anger. Ah; but there is!
In John Chapter 2 and verses 13 – 16 Jesus is walking through the temple and He notices that there are people in there selling animals so people do not have to bring their own offerings with them. They can just buy their sacrifices there. I can see it now, the sellers crying out, “Did you forget your sacrifice? Maybe you don't feel like lugging all those animals across the desert? Come to Fast Eddie's! We got you covered!” They were taking the place that was Holy and making it a marketing campaign and the Father, in Human form, was right in front of them watching all of it. Do you think He was mad? You bet He was! What did He do about it and how can we learn how to handle our anger from this example? Well I am glad you asked! He did it in three steps.
Step 1: Observation: John 2:14 - “In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.” He took a moment to observe what was making Him angry. He noticed that Fast Eddie and His friends were making money at a place that was to be used to worship the Father. A place where people were to ask forgiveness of their sins. Have you ever got angry and just reacted to find out after the dust settled, you had no idea what made you angry in the first place? Take a moment to observe the situation to understand why you are angry.
Step 2: Plan (Breathe): John 2:15a - “And making a whip of cords”...
Notice after Jesus realized what made Him angry, He didn't react. He made a whip of cords. That probably took a few minutes to do. Before reacting, take a few minutes and breathe. Find the best solution for the problem. I know that before I even correct my children or react to a co-worker that upset me, I take a moment and walk away from the situation. It helps calm you down so you can think before reacting. Which leads me to...
Step 3: React: John 2:15 – 16: “And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” After Observing and then planning, He went straight to work! He didn't go yelling, cursing and making a fool of Himself. He saw the problem and solved it. The sheep and oxen was not to be there as a convenience for the people so He drove them out. Money shouldn't be there so He dumped it out on the ground. The doves, he set them free! Also notice, He didn't take a bunch of time stewing about it. He figured out a plan and went to work. When we take anger and hold it in,it festers and sin is knocking at your door. Fix the problem!
In closing, remember, when something makes you angry don't act quickly. Take the time to think about what made you angry, plan a good solution and then act to eliminate the stress from your life! When you go about it the right way, you can handle your anger with civility and move on with you life!
P.S. - Notice what Jesus did right after that, He used it as an example to let the people know, that He is the temple that will be brought down and be built back up! Yes people! He used it to witness and so can you!
Because He Lives!