(Warning: This is not the first post I was planning on writing when I got back from vacation. But circumstance and my own processing have to be addressed before I can possibly write anything else. And BTW….Hi!….It’s good to be back at the keyboard. 🙂
Warning 2: No idea where this post is going to go. Praying God takes the crap in my head and works it into something useful.
Warning 3: There will be a slightly colorful word used in a grammatically incorrect way.
Warning 4: It’s gonna start off ugly.)
I’m writing this because I can’t think of a single positive thing I can do when I’m feeling this way. Sometimes I just have to process through my fingers.
That’s a really nice, really misleading word for what I’m experiencing right now.
A more accurate description would be RIGHTEOUS PISSEDNESS.
I won’t give the who, what, when or where of the situation. It doesn’t involve family or friends or anyone who might be reading this, so the details don’t matter.
All that’s necessary is the fact that I witnessed something so disrespectful to both God and people that I am shaking as I write this.
I. AM. PISSED.
We’re talking BLOOD BOILING TYPE STUFF.
So what did I do?
Did I apply the “What Would Jesus Do” principle?
Of course I did!
Like when He was in the temple that was being misused and misrepresented, disrespected and desecrated.
Matthew 21: 12-13 – Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
HE EXPERIENCED RIGHTEOUS PISSEDNESS.
Tables were flying, benches were knocked over.
He was rightfully angry at what was going on. People were being manipulated, God’s dwelling place was being defiled and selfish ambition was running amok in that place.
Suddenly, I understood this story so much better.
I felt confirmed in the raging, fuming, venting that was going on in my heart and coming out through my mouth.
I felt mad, just like Jesus.
My flying tables looked more like choice words, and those turned over benches more resembled smoke coming from my nostrils.
But other than that, it was exactly the same. 🙂
I was able to keep my rant down to a dull roar in the privacy of my own home and car. Barely.
Still, as righteous and justified as it was, why did it leave a bad aftertaste in my mouth and a deep pain in my chest? Why did it feel so ugly and wrong if it was right? If Jesus’ reaction to it would have been similar to mine?
As I just wrote that last sentence I didn’t know. Not a clue. For real.
But Jesus just filled me in on the difference between his response and mine. Just this very second.
He was mad at the sin.
I am mad at the person.
Gosh darn it. I knew it was too good to be true, that my heart was lining up with Jesus’ on this deal.
So, you’re telling me that I have been too focused on the WHO and not on the WHAT?
And now Jesus gets a little more specific.
He didn’t beat up the people that were misusing the temple.
He overturned the things that represented the sin.
He addressed the guilty and called the sin what it was.
He followed through and did what needed to be done.
But then He left the situation.
He said what needed to be said but didn’t wallow in the muck of anger towards those people. He had too many miracles to perform, too many people’s lives to touch. The next verses talk about him healing the blind and lame.
His focus was on his ultimate mission of going to the cross and he didn’t let residual pissedness (thought it WAS righteous anger) distract him or hold him back.
Ugh. So that means that’s what I need to do.
I need to address the sin and then leave the situation.
But I am sure as heck going to lock the door behind me. 🙂
Boundaries will be drawn and precautions put in place so that there will no longer be a need for “righteous indignation” toward this person.
Jesus has too much for me to do. There are too many people that my heart needs to be fully available for. There is too much to enjoy in the promised abundant life he gives for me to settle into the nest of unresolved anger, no matter how righteous it might be.
That putrid taste in my mouth is fading. My blood pressure is returning to normal. My bright red face is melting back into its post-vacation tan.
I can do that….
It’s okay to be angry. I SHOULD be angry about this.
But in my anger, I don’t have to sin. (Ephesians 4:26)
I can forgive the person and focus my pissedness toward the ugliness of the sin itself.
Dang, this is NOT how I thought this was going to pan out.
Guess I better go. (sigh)
I have some serious thinking and praying to do….:-)