Matthew 21: Reflections on Anger

Jesus entered the temple courts 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. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” Matthew 21:12-13

In the past when I’ve read the above verses, I have felt validated in my own anger by this example of Jesus’ anger. It’s a fantastic picture of His passion and his fierceness, two concepts that fire up my own intensity. However, when I was asked to do the scripture reading at my church a couple months ago, the Holy Spirit showed me a new perspective on this passage that took me deeper into understanding of the heart of God. Continue reading

Anger takes many forms

Now that we’ve considered the benefits of anger (its “good-ness”), it would behoove us to reflect on the types of anger (or the different ways anger is expressed) so that we can identify it in all its shapes and sizes.  Anger can take so many forms that we don’t always recognize it at times, whether it’s our anger or someone else’s.  At times, we can even get the sense that “something just isn’t quite right” but we can’t always put our finger on just what is causing us discomfort.

It can be helpful to distinguish between two types of anger: the anger that is typically more observable and obvious, and the anger that is typically more covert and harder to identify. Continue reading

The Good-ness of Anger

Who hasn’t gotten angry? Anger is such a pervasive emotion that it touches everyone’s life. We get angry with the driver that cut us off in rush-hour traffic. We get angry with our boss, our spouse, our children, and the checker at the supermarket. We get angry with the people who perpetuate injustices in this world.

Unfortunately, we oftentimes take a simplistic approach towards anger. “I want it to roll off my back like water off a duck,” we say. We then try and replace our anger with phrases and behaviors designed to calm us. (See Frank Costanza’s attempt at “Serenity now!”) But does this work? Does this get to the heart of the problem? Continue reading