Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Jesus and Anger. Jesus is the most comprehensive picture that God gives of Himself, and Jesus did show anger.
He was angry with religious leaders that focused on twisted rules rather than the human condition (Mark 3:5). He was angry when the use of the temple became more about profit than worship for all people (John 2:13-17). He was angry when the disciples kept the children away (Mark 10:14).
Jesus' anger was not like our sinful anger. He NEVER used anger when He was personally violated. He was tested, lied to and about, falsely accused, betrayed, denied by close friends, mocked, beaten, spit on, publicly humiliated, and wrongly crucified. He never got angry because His personal desires were violated.
How did Jesus respond? 1 Peter 2:23 tells us that when Jesus faced these circumstances that typically cause angry responses in us, He entrusted Himself to the One, His Father, who judges justly. Jesus did not take on the responsibility of self-vindication or vengeance. He trusted God who is just.
The deceptive intoxication of anger makes us feel in control and powerful. People respond how we want when we are angry. In our anger, people get what they deserve if they treat us poorly. However, Proverbs indicates that angry responses are signs of weakness and vulnerability (14:29, 15:18, 25:28, 29:22).
The greatest power is not anger, but it is yielding to the power of the Spirit that is in each one of us as believers. The Spirit guides us in our actions in a way that glorifies and trusts God. God is most glorified when we trust in Him! As Jesus did, we can respond to our circumstances as servants seeking to even bless our enemies because we know that God who sees all is our just judge (Luke 6:27-31).
In every situation we have the choice to respond in our anger or as a servant. Who has God called you to serve today? How can you serve in the moments when you want to vindicate yourself or exact judgment? Where do you need to be trusting God today rather than responding in anger?