Jesus was furious when He found that moneychangers had desecrated the temple, and He reacted swiftly and severely: “Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out” (John 2:15 ESV).
The scene appeals to us. Evil motives were exposed, evildoers were punished. Good triumphed. Wickedness fled. Order restored.
And perhaps we like it because we somehow conclude that this demonstration of righteous indignation—by Jesus, no less—means that our own anger has been approved.
It’s as if we have been given an all-access pass to every quarrel, argument, and fight we choose to enter. As long our feelings are on the side of right, then a little sound and fury are appropriate, right?
The problem is, it was His cross that Jesus told us to pick up, not His whip.
While we worry that seeking peace might cause us to be treated as weaklings and pushovers, we miss one opportunity after another to show the strength of our Savior. He did not ignore evil; He looked beneath and behind it.
He recognized that most of the boisterous and mean were themselves deceived and in bondage. He sought their freedom through love, care, truth, and compassion.
Are we strong enough to do the same?
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all….
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
—Romans 12:18, 21