Remember that time Jesus turned over all those tables?  That’s a pretty cool story.  He rolled up to the temple, saw the money changers cheating people, and immediately went on a rampage quoting scripture and wrecking stuff.  It seems like a pretty cool scene.  But did it really go down that way?

In the book of John, we read that Jesus made a whip before confronting those desecrating the temple.  He didn’t grab a whip out of his fanny pack.  He didn't borrow one from a friend or pick one up at the local Jerusalem 7-Eleven.  He took the time to fashion a whip out of ropes.

So what?  How does that change the story?  In my opinion, that changes the story completely.  When you read the versions without the whip, it looks like Jesus acted on an impulse and lost His temper.  It looks like He did not have control. 

However, if you consider the fact that He left the scene that frustrated Him to craft the whip, it is more obvious that He was very intentional in the way that He displayed His righteous anger.  He planned out what He was going to do and what He was going to say down to the letter. 

Yes, He was aggressive.  He was direct in making His point.  However, it was all on purpose.  He had complete self-control.  Every detail of this event was completely intentional.

It is okay to get angry, especially when someone else is being treated badly.  It is appropriate, and even encouraged, to speak out against injustice.  However, it is very important to use your righteous anger appropriately. 

How do you react when you get angry?  Do you act on impulse and make rash decisions?  Do you snap and lose your temper?  Or do you take the time to process the situation and respond in an appropriate, intentional way?

The only way to get better at exercising your righteous anger is through prayer and practice.  Remove yourself from the situation before reacting and pray about how to proceed.  Never act on impulse, but do everything on purpose.  That is what Jesus did in the temple, and it is exactly what we should strive to do in every frustrating situation.   

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