I believed I was a strong Christian woman who loved Jesus, but this current struggle with anger had me worried. Incredibly worried.

Each time I thought of that adulterous woman and my husband together, my hands clenched into fists, my eyes filled with tears, and my nice Christian heart turned a shade blacker. My previously gentle personality now exuded something akin to hatred. A stranger emerged within my soul, one I did not recognize.

I knew and understood Luke 6:37 completely. Forgive, and you will be forgiven was not a new concept, but never in my thirty years of Christianity had it been put to such a test.  Though I wholeheartedly begged God to help me forgive, I could not understand the anger that surged so readily. I expected my prayers to bring control instead of this raging river of emotion. Did this mean I had not forgiven?

In my confusion I turned to Scripture to study this enigma called anger. My counselor assured me anger was a reasonable human emotion given the circumstances, but what did the Bible say? Like finding treasure in an ancient ruin, I felt I had unearthed pure gold.

In Matthew 21:14-16 Jesus demonstrated anger in a shocking display. To discover the temple of God used as a common day market infuriated Him.

Imagine if you will…the soft-spoken Jesus with a whip in hand.
Sheep bleat and oxen scatter as a crack splits the muggy air. With a flick of His wrist, the cage door opens, a flurry of dove wings ascend into the heavens.
Jesus moves across the square with determined steps and grasps a heavy wooden table. In one swift movement it crashes to the stone floor. He does not stop there but systematically overturns each table and bench.
The moneychangers flee in fear; the presence of such divine authority grips their greedy souls. Coins spew in every direction and chaos fills the temple square.
People fight and scramble to gather the money.
His words, crisp and pointed, slice above the din.
Every head turns as his booming voice declares, “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves.”
Palms open, coins fall once again, as the crowd stands hushed and awed.
One cannot read this account without acknowledging that Jesus both felt and expressed anger.

These few verses painted a picture that brought immense relief to my tortured soul. Anger had a place. The devastation done to my marriage and family demanded a healthy release of this emotion. If Jesus could effectively express anger, there had to be a way to emulate His example.

I realized I had much to learn...

To be continued.