Righteous anger, yes! Jesus flipping tables because someone was being taken advantage of, yes! Nehemiah plucking beards of elders who were abusing power, yes! Sign me up! Righteous! Anger! Or…not so righteous… but I mean well, and start well, but in Ephesians it says,”in your anger do not sin.” I somehow start well, and end overlooking the ledge of critical eye and harmful heart. Over the years I have jokingly said I want to start a Nehemiah Ministry with the motto, “Throttle People for Jesus.” I know, even typing it, I cringe. Jesus did not come to flip tables. His mission was to die for all those people in the temple, to help them reconnect with God. Nehemiah was not characterized as a beard plucker. He was a protector of his people and a hard worker rebuilding his community. He took action when it was the appropriate time, but most of his actions can be categorized as servant like. He put his neck on the line for his community many times. He stood in the gap and reminded people who they were and who their God is. He reminded them of who they had been and who they could be with God.
I want to be that. My friend and I call it being a grace ninja (yes, I guess I have an aggressive side), but at least the weapon is grace, grace that I have received from a God who is merciful every morning with me, a God who not only does not give me what I deserve, but also blesses me beyond anything I could ever hope for or ask for. My life is so beyond what I deserve. I remind my kids often how we are blessed beyond measure. If I am walking in that truth, that should make me the most generous woman on the block. It should help me to be much slower to anger, much quicker to listen, much more gracious and gentle allowing room for God to work.
I am a passionate individual. I feel things deeply. I care deeply about God’s holiness, but He tells me to be holy like He is. His holiness came and walked among the people, His holiness called a man who was temperamental and impetuous “the Rock” that He would build His church on. He washed His betrayer’s feet and ate His last meal with him. He met with a man that was on his way to persecute and kill Christians and invited him to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. What kind of love is that? How can I offer anyone less than that?