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Righteous Vs. Unrighteous Anger

Right after lowly Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, we find this fascinating account:

“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:12-13)

The gospel of John even records that Jesus made a “whip out of cords” and drove them out. Jesus demonstrated righteous anger. This type of anger is very beneficial. I will even go as far to say it is crucial for the believer to have. God gives us righteous anger so we can wrestle against principalities and powers. This is very different from unrighteous anger. In fact, we see this unrighteous anger on display by the religious leaders in response to Jesus the Messiah being praised as He entered Jerusalem.

But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were ]indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” They were INDIGNANT. The Passion Translation says they were furious. That is unrighteous anger. In this case it was rooted in pride and jealousy.

When righteous anger begins to rise up, don’t try to push it down. Use that power to wrestle, intercede. God gave that wonderful gift to you – use it for the kingdom. After Jesus overturned the tabled the disciples were reminded on the Messianic scripture in Psalm 69: “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” I say let that zeal (fervor, passion) eat you up also! It will eat you up in a good way let me assure you!

Notice how the scripture says “BE ANGRY, and do not sin.” (Eph 4:26, emphasis mine) The first command is in fact to “be angry.” The key is to not sin while doing it, which would be to walk in unrighteous anger. So yes go ahead and be angry. Just use that anger for righteousness.

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