*Righteous anger

Faith, thoughts

This week Andy continued his series Anger: Virtue or Vice — today, focusing specifically on the virtue of anger.
Some really good wisdom! Here are my notes 🙂

Anger and money have many things in common
If you use money properly, you can accomplish many great things
Anger is, likewise, power.

Jesus was very clear that we need to ask forgiveness for our sin.
Never do we have record of Jesus asking forgiveness of his sins, why?
Because he was sinless.
However…in the midst of this, there were still moments where he became angry.

We revisited the same story as last week — of Jesus healing the crippled man —this time, in the gospel of Luke:

And it came to pass on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man there, and his right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath; that they might find how to accuse him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man that had his hand withered, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. And Jesus said unto them, I ask you, Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good, or to do harm? to save a life, or to destroy it? And he looked round about on them all, and said unto him, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored. But they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. (Luke 6:6-11 ASV)

What makes Jesus angry?
1. When people are robbed of their chance to be more
2. When people are robbed of a chance to meet God
3. When children are kept away from Jesus and robbed of the blessing of God

Jesus’ anger was never born out of self-interest. It was always about someone else.
His anger always led to helpful action.
The root of Jesus’ anger is love.

What makes us angry?
Loss of control

Our anger is almost always about our own self-interest and our own needs and wants.

The Pharisees were angry because they lost control.
When we are no longer in control, we become angry.
The Pharisees couldn’t control Jesus because they could not pin down anything truthfully worthy of accusing him.
We are desperate for control, and when control slips through our fingers we similarly become angry.

Jesus’ anger was righteous because it was constituted by someone else’s need.
What angers Jesus more than anything else is when you are hindered and robbed of opportunities for Jesus to make you free.
The crippled man could only beg, but Jesus saw something better for him. He saw in his crippled state that his potential was hindered. He took him from being an outcast to a participant..

Another example of Jesus’ anger:
And they come to Jerusalem: and he entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and them that bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; and he would not suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple. And he taught, and said unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? but ye have made it a den of robbers. And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, for all the multitude was astonished at his teaching. (Mark 11:15-18 ASV)

Jesus was upset that people could not worship God because the temple had been changed into a place of commerce, pushing out the individuals that otherwise would have been present there to meet with God. He was angry because this incident robbed people from meeting with God. God and His presence had been traded for good business. Jesus must always be visible and we must clear out any obstacles that make the church unattractive.

We put unnecessary road blocks in front of people that prevent them from seeing God and meeting God. If the temple is full of obstacles, whether that is religious piety or actions which do not express God’s grace…they are

    robbing people of the opportunity to meet with God and that angers Jesus

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (James 1:20 ASV)
Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Is our anger motivated by our own self-interest? Or our love for Jesus, and others?

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