Today’s devotion is brought to you by Jesse Weeks - enjoy!
As we study Mark 11:15-19 more deeply and examine the anger that Jesus displayed in the temple, let’s remember that He did not sin in His anger. Mark 11:15 says “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” There is a place for righteous indignation. Jesus became angry because God’s house of worship had become a place of extortion and a barrier to those who wanted to worship there.
As Christians, we are right to be upset and angry about sin and injustice, and should take a stand against them. Unfortunately, we are often passive about these important issues and, instead, get angry over personal insults and petty irritations. Anger is a normal emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation. The problem with anger is the frailty and inability of man to deal with the emotion. It can become the predominant feeling and cause strong reactions of retaliation, aggression, social misbehavior, and, yes, sin.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin,” (Which references Psalm 4:4 “Be angry, and do not sin, ; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent”) “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
The sin comes with the anger over personal or petty issues that can easily lead you to more egregious sin. James warns us in his letter James 1:20 “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
There is a tremendous difference between righteous indignation over sin and injustice, and anger over personal issues. Righteous indignation can lead to positive results, while personal anger can lead to sin. Make sure your anger is directed toward the right issues, and remain righteous in your reactions. Pray that you always remain slow to anger and abound in love.