Q&A – Is it ok to be Angry

Q: I was studying a bible passage and I was wondering if you could help me understand it. John 2:13-16. I am wondering about anger. Do you think Jesus was angry in the passage? I came to the conclusion that maybe turning the tables over Jesus was trying to get
their attention. Did Jesus get angry?

A: Thanks so much for your email. I definitely think Jesus was angry when he turned over the tables. Many times people view anger as only negative. Emotions are not moral or immoral, they are amoral. Anger is a natural response to a given set of circumstances. It is what you do with that anger that determines whether or not it is sinful. Scripture doesn’t teach that we shouldn’t ever be angry it tells us in Ephesians 4:26,”In your anger do not sin.” In other words, feeling angry because of a set of circumstances we are faced with is ok. What is not ok is to remain that way, to dwell on those thoughts and withhold forgiveness because we do not work through our anger in a proper way.

It is also ok to feel anger toward things that God says are evil and sinful. Jesus was clearly angry at the money changers and merchants who were selling items people needed to worship God at the temple and exploited those people. There is a difference between uncontrolled rage and righteous indignation – although many times both may be referred to by the general term “anger.” We must be careful how we use anger because it is a very powerful emotion. In this case, Jesus anger (righteous indignation) was justified toward the injustice and sin He confronted.

Please let me know if I can answer any more questions for you. I hope you have a great week.

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