“Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Why are people so angry? It seems the slightest difference of opinion can lead to insults, accusations and in some cases violence. Instead of saying, “I disagree”, people are reacting irrationally. What is truly sad is watching those who declare their love for Jesus who are responding as the world responds in equally disrespectful ways.
This explosion of anger has been developing for several years as people have felt helpless to address the good and bad changes happening around them. Our generation has been feed by social media platforms that push entitlement and self-fulfilment. It wants what is right for them. To be heard, they attach themselves to causes in the hope of seeking justice, but most are ignorant as to what true justice look likes. People want to offer an opinion but often logic is put aside and replaced by emotions. Adding to the problem is the difficulty in finding a legitimate cause because many have been hijacked by individuals with agendas to bringing about anarchy and violence.
A friend recently noted that this current explosion of anger was inevitable. Covid-19 has possibly ignited the powder keg. People have been locked in their homes for months, some within a dysfunctional family setting. Freedom of movement has been restricted and people are upset they can’t do things they weren’t even doing before the virus hit. Many have lost their employment, which some have linked to their identity and self-worth. All these factors have contributed to the growth of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty which in turn has fueled angry confrontations in grocery store lines, parking lots, recreational areas, and especially social media.
So how do disciples of Christ respond not only to the rising anger around us but also to perceived injustices? Firstly, we must step back and look to the cross. We must remember God’s love allowed the sacrifice of Jesus so that underserving humanity could be saved from the deprived and offensive decisions it makes. We must turn our gaze upwards and seek God’s peace, wisdom and love to speak for justice and to be able to love our enemies. Secondly, we should remember the power of words to hurt and scar. We must adopt the psalmist mindset when he wrote, Psalm 19:14. Lastly, we should consider these words from James in “James 1:26”. We are on display for Jesus and must be mindful of how our words and actions can destroy our witness.
God is a just God and as Isaiah shared God wants us to, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless and plead the widow’s cause,” (Isaiah 1:17). God also wants us to be concerned about the way we interact with each other. He created us to live in harmonious relationship with one another and that has become difficult as Satan’s influence have turned us against one another. We should be on the side of justice for all, but we need to approach these issues with love and logic vice pure emotions. Anger and violence births anger and violence whereas godly wisdom and love bring about peace. Martin Luther King offered these words during a speech he made called Loving your Enemies, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”. The Apostle John wrote “dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”, (1 John 3:18). By our deeds and words, we must be the light to the world around us and love as God desires.