Note: This is the second post in a mini-series on Jesus’s righteous anger, and how we can respond to evil like him.
Holding my brother’s hand was the very last thing I wanted to do when I was angry at him. But as eight- and ten-year-olds, that was our punishment for fighting.
My anger tends to be selfish retaliation, spewed from a selfish heart. It shoves people away. It doesn’t want to hold hands.
Then I look at Jesus.
As Romans drove spikes through his hands, he gasped, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).
A bleeding woman stopped short his matter-of-death-or-life mission, but he didn’t snap (Matt. 9:20-22).
No, Jesus reprimanded his disciples when they kept him from being interrupted.
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belong the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:13-14).
Paul Miller writes this:
“Irritation is not wrong, in and of itself. When other people do wrong things, we should get irritated. Our irritation, rightly used to act in love, can fuel a few honest words, which in turn can help people.”[i]
Righteous anger—Jesus’s anger— never shoves people away, but clears the room to touch and love.
And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them (Mark 10:16).
. . .
[i] Paul Miller, Love Walked Among Us. (2001: Carol Stream, IL. NavPress), 92