Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Being Righteously Ticked

Righteous anger.  Hmm, previously I have always defined righteous anger as the things that make me rightfully angry: a person cutting in line, a cheater not getting caught, our landlord stealing our stuff.  But, this week we went over John 2 where Jesus went postal on the temple salespeople.  As I see it, Jesus is defining righteous anger as that which defiles the name of God.  Those things that rob glory and attention from God and give it to something earthly.  As I sat and let this familiar story sink in, I realized how paradigm shifting this should be for me.  If righteous anger is defined as robbing glory from God, then my anger should look different.  When I get personally offended, there is a rage that can creep up inside of me.  Cutting in line is one of those things that make me want to punch someone in the throat and then shout the first Chinese phrase I ever learned.  I will say that the phrase just might include the word 'bastard'.    If you are planning on purchasing something, then somebody is certainly cutting in front of you.  So, daily I am confronted with this rage that I have to temper.  Should I be angry at cutting in line, maybe, but to feel the amount of anger that I feel is probably not ok.  

I know this is not OK, because I can compare it to the amount of rage that I feel when I see someone defaming God's name.  Do I get angry, yes.  Do I feel the same deep rage that I feel when someone body checks me at the market, no.  That my friends is misplaced and non-righteous anger.  Jesus was angry because people were treating the temple like an ordinary market place.  People were misplacing their affections and attention.  And Jesus felt like that was severe enough to tie together a whip of cords and scatter the cattle and sheep from the temple.  He made a scene because this offense was not only personal, it was spiritual.  

I get overly offended at the personal and not offended enough at the spiritual.  I should be so much more concerned with people who are defaming God's name than I do with who is cutting in front of me in line.  If I am going to spend the energy being angry, it needs to be righteous anger and done for the goal of restoring glory to God's name. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...