5. Intentional Spiritual Choice, not an Emotional Reaction
While we recognize Jesus became angry, we must also note this wasn’t an uncontrolled reaction.
When we get angry, our emotions can control us, and we act out of that anger, generally for revenge. But if our emotions are the guiding force, then the Spirit isn’t. And revenge doesn’t lead us to the restoration and redemption God seeks in his justice. He is a forgiving God.
From the time he was at least twelve years old, as a good Jew, Christ went to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year. It wasn’t the first time he saw the money changers taking advantage of people. It likely angered and upset him every time.
Yet he waited to act until his Father told him to. Jesus said he only did what he saw his Father do (John 5:19). His actions were guided and directed by God. His anger wasn’t an excuse to act on his own. Neither should it be for us.
Injustice and perversion should anger believers, but our anger doesn’t legitimize our response from anger and vengeance to bring punishment. If the anger is righteous, we must continue in righteousness, which is by the leading of the Holy Spirit. We remain responsible to act in love. Anger apart from love of every individual isn’t righteous anger. Let us speak the truth and stand against injustice in love, toward even the perpetrators themselves. This is the heart of God.
In our highly charged political climate, with divisions made worse through social media and agenda-driven media, we must be careful to address our anger and reactions through the love of God in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads us into all truth, so we should pray to get discernment from the Father about what actually makes him upset, the truth of injustice, and the proper way to respond in love. With this, we’ll be the House of God we were meant to be.
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