Another Side of Sunday: Childlike Faith

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant.

–Mark 10:14

Idignant.

It means “feeling or showing anger because of something unjust or unworthy” (Merriam-Webster).

I’m reminded of another time Jesus was angry.

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

–Matthew 21:12-13

Jesus’ anger gives us a clear example of when anger is appropriate. When something is unjust, like children not being allowed to see the Savior, or unworthy, like people turning God’s house into a money making place. These are places where our feathers should be ruffled.

Have you ever experienced an indignant preschooler? What I’ve learned from a child’s anger is it doesn’t last long. As soon as the wrong is made right, the offense is usually forgiven and the child goes on their way happy to play with the very one they were just angry with.

Adults. Not so much. When we’re mad… we’re mad. And it can last forever if we’re not careful. We use anger to exact payment from those who did us wrong. We hold grudges and get bitter. Why? Because we want the offender to pay for what they’ve done. Even if they make it right, apologize, repent, we are still leary. And rarely can the relationship continue on as if it never happened.

Childlike faith is built on trust. Trust that simply lets go of offense.

Jesus’ anger was not about how He was treated by others. His anger was ignited because of the unjust treatment of others or the unworthy treatment of God.

Think about your own anger. Does it stem from others being turned away from God? Is it time to choose a childlike faith and let go?

Jesus, You showed me the way when it comes to anger. Not once did You take offense because of Your own mistreatment. You never asked me to pay for my own sin. Instead, You paid it for me. Teach me to be passionate about making a way for others to come to You. I’m sorry for holding on to bitterness and resentment. I’m letting go of it. Replace it with love for You and for others. Amen.

 

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