Scripture: John 2:15–17
Key Verse: “And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.” (John 2:15)
Emotions can be especially tough to deal with when it seems like everybody else gets to do what they want to do. We can get frustrated when things don’t go our way or aggravated when plans change, and there’s a lot of change for military families! Highly sensitive topics like slavery, abortion, and child trafficking can get people very angry, and people could provide many reasons to justify their anger. Anger is a normal human emotion, but we don’t get to deal with anger any way we want.
Anger is okay when it is God-centered and is focused on addressing things contrary to the desires of God. Anger is not okay when it is self-centered and focused on our personal desires. The heart motivation should be to fight on behalf of the cause of Christ and not because we don’t get what we want. As followers of Christ, we should be angry about the things that make God angry and respond in ways that bring God’s will to the forefront, not ours. Jesus was angry but did not sin. We must understand that anger is a natural emotion, but only when we are focused on the desires of God can we be assured we are responding the right way.
Have you ever considered anger to be okay? How do you feel about the way Jesus showed his anger? Have you ever been angry about something that makes God angry?
Develop a strategy to deal with anger. Describe the consequences of dealing with anger your way, then identify some of the ways God has been faithful in helping you deal with anger. Compare your responses and use them as a reminder to choose God’s way.
I thank you, God, that you are in control of every situation, even when I’m upset and people only seem to frustrate me. Please keep me focused on you and the victory I have through Jesus Christ.