Monday, April 19, 2010


A Role For Anger

Mark Daniels links to a devotional:
Sometimes anger appropriately calls our attention to an injustice that needs to be addressed, and we are spurred to righteous action.
AMEN! to that. Too often when people remind us to "control" our anger it is not because they are the source of the injustice that has given rise to it. I find this particularly abused in the church. I lost my temper once when the ushers kicked a homeless man out of service becasue he "smelled bad." All anybody could do was tell me it was "inappropriate" to be so angry. I was certainly guilty of bad messaging, but it's one of those cases....

There is a cautionary note:
Most of the time, however, our anger is selfishly ignited by the violation of our expectations, rights, and privileges.
That magic word "discernment" matters a lot.

My question is what do we do with righteous anger, the underlying injustice of which simply cannot be resolved. The devotional reminds us of the scriptural mandate to "not let the sun go down on your anger," and yet some injustices simply cannot be resolved. Maybe they are too big for one person to handle, maybe they source of the injustice is dead, or simply refuses to engage. What does one do?

I have no doubt this is why many of the prophets were consigned to the wilderness. They could not leave alone the obvious problems they saw in front of them, and yet they could not resolve them - withdrawal was the only option left.

I know there are situations in my life from which I have withdrawn for these very reasons, but every now and then I catch a glimpse of the injustice and the fire begins to burn anew. What to do in such a setting?

Trust God to resolve the injustice, of course. Even when we are righteous God tests our reliance on Him.

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