Sanctified Hostility

“Sanctified hostility“… (righteous anger) requires courage. Christians are called to it; we don’t get to shrug our shoulders and turn a deaf ear just because something is too controversial or uncomfortable to say some thing about. Jesus set the example for for how to courageously and boldly take take a stand the right way.

Chuck Swindoll writes:

“In Luke 19 Jesus’ triumphant entry, His weeping over Jerusalem, and His cleansing of the Temple—Jesus’ courage and faithfulness stand out. Right up to the end of His life, I find both attributes wonderfully demonstrated in Jesus. Let me address both of them by way of practical application.

First, courage can be demonstrated as much in anger as in compassion. There are times when sitting idly by and sort of shrugging things off can be the most cowardly thing you can do, while getting angry can be the most spiritual thing you can do. Now, I know it’s risky to hand this out as general advice, because it could easily be misused and abused. I don’t want you to do that. I am not condoning flying off the handle or acting on hot-tempered and out-of-control anger. Not at all. That kind of reaction is destructive and abusive.

My point is that there is a place in Christianity for sanctified hostility. Sometimes the Christian should stand up and say, “That is enough! That is wrong! Here are the Scriptures to prove it. I will not sit idly by and let this go on.”

The disciples learned an enormous amount from Jesus’ response in the Temple. Wrong was taking place, and He refused to say, “That’s okay. In a couple of weeks they’ll be gone.” In His anger He demonstrated courage.

Second, faithfulness is revealed in ending well. What a model Jesus is to all of us. Right up to the end, what is He doing? Weeping over Jerusalem, driving out hypocrites from the Temple, teaching, and standing against His critics. It’s amazing. He has only hours to live. But right up to the very end He is faithful to His calling…”

Living how Jesus lived is neither automatic nor easy. It works against everything in our flesh. It requires transformation. Our goal in studying our Savior’s life is to allow Him to change us to be like Himself. This includes having the courage to put our foot down when we know something is wrong and saying, “That has to stop!”

Try to put yourself in this scene with Jesus and His disciples as they approach Jerusalem. Hear Jesus’ sobs as He weeps over what might have been. Walk into the Temple with them and feel with Him the righteous indignation over something biblically and morally wrong. Can you think of something today in your life that you’re shrugging off, turning a deaf ear to, or letting go on? Are you doing this so that you will be popular, accepted, or a part of the group—even though they’re saying things that you know in your heart are wrong? Isn’t it time for anger? I’m talking about the kind of anger that can prompt you to be courageous enough to say, “No. That’s enough. This is where I stand. I can do no other.”

You will discover that when you properly express anger your soul will be cleansed and you will feel good because you have done what is right. Again, I caution you about how you apply this, but I want you to remember the model Jesus gave. Sometimes we need to get angry. When it happens, we must follow Jesus’ example and continue to be faithful to Him and His teachings all the way to the end of our lives.”

Chuck Swindoll,
Swindoll Study Bible,
commentary on Luke 19; page 1263