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Even at the age of 10 these boys thought that being angry was bad.
Reference: v.12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. (NIV Bible)
Explore: In my chaplaincy days I used to run an anger management course for Primary school boys. Even at the age of 10 these boys thought that being angry was bad. Well, clearly they hadn’t read this story about Jesus coming to the temple in Jerusalem! You would certainly struggle with a quick comeback if you were to tell a child off for lashing out in anger and they came back with, “Well, Jesus did it! Matthew 21, he damaged property and cost some people a lot of money!”
Application: There are so many negative expressions of anger that we quickly view that whole emotion as a bad thing. However, that anger can prompt many good reactions as well. I’m not really sure whether Jesus response was quite within the ‘positive anger management framework’ but two verses later we read that the blind and lame came to him in the temple and received healing. So his outburst did not scare the right people away. I know that when I have felt anger, that emotion has spurred me on to ‘right a wrong’. If I never felt angry then I would become nonchalant and I would resign my passions for indifference. That is not a Christ-like life. Jesus was not even close to being indifferent. He was passionate; He was focussed; He was determined; and He was even angry. While we need to be aware of what causes us to be angry we don’t always need to suppress that emotion. If we acknowledge when we are angry we can use that feeling to bring about great change.
Prayer: Lord, there is a great deal of pain and hurt in our world. May we acknowledge our emotions as passion indicators and work towards bringing the kingdom of God to earth today. Amen.
When has your passion been spurred on by a strong emotion?