It is true that Jesus got angry with the people who were desecrating His Father's place of worship by selling and buying goods right in front of the Temple. There is such a thing as righteous anger, but it's too easy to say it works in all our situations.
In most of the times that I lost my temper in the past, I can honestly say that the ability to look back on those sad times makes me wonder that it even happened. It's times when I wish I could re-wind and do it over.
Michael used to ask me the answer to so many problems in the world (when he was first coming back into the church) and another "God moment" inspired me to say that "No matter what the problem, love is the answer." For Jesus, the love and honor for His Father was at work in the Temple that day...so where does that place us when someone cuts us off in traffic or runs ahead of us (with 552 things in their cart) to an open register (where is the love here)??? So now I pray (it's okay to pray not to follow through with bonking the person over the head or saying something sarcastic), ideally, that I can remain kind and calm, but also for that person to be more loving.
As for the venting of our anger, there are so many terrific ways to "let it out":
1. In the case of a genuine injustice that has harmed someone in some way, we use the judicial system, not so much for ourselves, as to not let it happen again to anyone else.
2. House cleaning...a great way to have a spic and span home...just beat that dirt and dust up!
3. Exercise (bonking people over the head does NOT count) in some form or manner...walking, lifting (carefully) your furniture as you move it around to confuse family members (my late husband came home once and almost fell trying to sit where there used to be a chair!).
4. Pray, pray, pray.
5. Force yourself to do something nice for someone...even a little note on a sticky pad.
6. Use your sense of humor of find something funny to read or watch.
7. Do something nice for yourself .
8. Take deep, relaxing breaths for several minutes.
Finally, here's my little family story. Growing up, my daughter Ria became very serious as a teen-ager and had her sense of values about what was proper and improper. We were in Germany at the time, walking down a street in the downtown area of Bamberg when a serious case of silliness hit the younger two and myself (my husband Mario usually just looked on in amusement). We were doing kind of a Star Wars thing and "shooting" each other and laughing like crazed maniacs. Ria was horrified, mortified and then "madder than a wet hen". In fact, she was so angry that she walked as far away as she could from us and you could practically see the steam coming out of her. This made me sad for her, so I went up and started talking calmly to her, but she just stayed angry. This caused me to pull out my "ultimate weapon", my crazy sense of humor (which she could accept since no physical actions were involved). She started to snicker a little, then she actually laughed and finally she said "stop making me laugh...I want to be angry." Her own comment made us both laugh and the anger was gone instantly!!
Let's all remember that Life is too short to get angry over too little (things) and LOVE is the answer.
"Ok. Let's move to anger. Now anger is a really difficult emotion. And, it's really different from fear. First of all, the action of anger is completely different than the action of fear. The action of fear is to run away from something. So when you are afraid, you run away. And the action of anger actually is to do almost exactly the opposite. It's to run towards something and attack it. Now, another action that goes along with anger that is usually not there with fear is the action of thought. It's kind of what we start thinking. So we start thinking 'this shouldn't be this way, this is unnecessary, things could be different...' When we're angry at people we almost always think they should not be the way we are... they are. And so the two things to look for in anger are going to be first you're going toward something and want to attack it. And the other thing is that somewhere you're thinking that whatever is there should not be there. "..
So here's a cute joke to go with today's musings:
A young girl who was writing a paper for school came to her father and asked, "Dad, what is the difference between anger and exasperation?"
The father replied, "It is mostly a matter of degree. Let me show you what I mean."
With that, the father went to the telephone and dialed a number at random. To the man who answered the phone, he said, "Hello, is Melvin there?"
The man answered, "There is no one living here named Melvin. Why don't you learn to look up numbers before you dial them?"
"See," said the father to his daughter. "That man was not a bit happy with our call. He was probably very busy with something, and we annoyed him. Now watch . . ."
The father dialed the same number again. "Hello, is Melvin there?" asked the father.
"Now look here!" came the heated reply. "You just called this number, and I told you that there is no Melvin here! You've got a lot of nerve calling again!" The receiver was slammed down hard.
The father turned to his daughter and said, "You see, that was anger. Now I'll show you what exasperation means."
He dialed the same number, and a violent voice roared, "HELLO!"
The father calmly said, "Hello, this is Melvin. Have there been any calls for me?"
~~~Thank you Lord for the blessings of being able to become better people by finding positive solutions to our shortcomings.