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Daily Devotionals

Day 7 – Issue 21

todayMay 1, 2015 7

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Be Still Know

Matthew 21:12 NLT

‘Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.’

Anger is a challenging emotion. Here is the only incident recorded where we see Jesus give expression to his anger, which demonstrates that anger isn’t sinful. Of course, anger is not named, yet driving people out and overturning tables have all the hallmarks of someone who is angry, someone who is indignant and outraged. Perhaps anger can be a constructive emotion.

As a teenager I often lost my temper, quickly reacting, most often with verbal rather than physical violence. I was seeking to give expression to something that rose within me that always lay just beyond reason and verbal explanation. I might feel better after the explosion, yet few others did. It has proved a difficult path to walk, and on reflection I think my perceived ‘giftedness’ and hence contributions as I grew into adulthood was wanted so I was given a soft ride by those who managed me. I say this not as an excuse but with a sense of regret that I wasn’t confronted over my behaviour more robustly.

Even my angry reaction to injustice is most often out of kilter with my faith. I see red and imagine doing violence to the perpetrators of such injustice, seeing myself as on the side of the victim. Yet, on reflection, my own lifestyle choices may come at the cost of someone else’s experience of injustice. I confess today I’m often at a loss to know what ‘justice’ looks like in practice and how it might be effectively implemented.

Easter is marked by the violence of the crucifixion. In stark contrast its victim, Jesus, endures all. He chooses not to react physically or verbally. In fact even as he hangs upon the cross he says, “Father, forgive, for they know not what they do” (see Luke 23:34).

QUESTION: As one who is forgiven, how do you respond to your own emotional anger?

PRAYER: Lord, help me to be like you, slow to anger and rich in love.

Written by: Matt Weet

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