As a kid growing up in a rough neighborhood we were taught in school not to get angry. It was kind of hard to figure out because I witnessed lots of fights. I have even been in a few of my own. I am not sure which hurt more: the black eye or the guilt of getting angry. Well I have learned that it’s normal to get angry. It is not okay to take out our anger in destructive ways. We need to learn coping skills for how to diffuse our angry in a positive way. I think they call this anger management today. I have to admit that even though I don’t get angry easily there are times when I can see only red as I learned to say down south. One way to help is when we get angry to think quickly of a real joyful event in your life time. Another way that works for me is to pray to see Jesus’ face in the face of the person who is making me angry.
John 2: 13-22 talks about Jesus clearing the Temple courts and then destroying the Temple. Jesus went up to Jerusalem around the time of the Passover. He went to the Temple and found people selling cattle, sheep and doves and some were exchanging money. People would bring the local currency to change into temple currency to buy animals because it was thought that God wanted animal sacrifice to do away with their sins. Jesus was very angry. He made a whip out of chord and drove out the animals, the sellers and the money changers. He said, “ Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market.” His disciples remember that it was written “Zeal for my Father’s house will consume me.”
The Temple people asked Jesus for a sign as to what authority He cleared the Temple. Jesus gave a strange answer, “Destroy the Temple, and I will raise it up in three days.” They thought Jesus was talking about the building when Jesus was talking about His body. The disciples remembered this after He rose from the dead.
So we see that Jesus did get angry. You know that same Jesus who said to love one another. His anger came out of His righteousness. We have to be careful not to become angry out of self-righteousness. Remember we say in the Lord’s prayer to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. It doesn’t say Oh Lord help us to get even with those who hurt us. So maybe it is okay at times to get angry. Maybe we can walk away and cool down and spend some time in prayer and then return to the person we are angry with. AMEN!