There are days when it’s good to be the bright, angry flower in the midst of those without much color. Not every day, not even very many days. But more days than most of us are comfortable admitting.
You know what I mean? Sometimes, you gotta speak up. Take a stand. Tell it true, and clean, and hard. Because sometimes, life demands it. The injustices, the inequities, the ugliness — sometimes the best response is this one:
I’m not talking about reactivity, or defensiveness, or pique. I’m talking about good ole righteous indignation, the sense that someone done someone else wrong, and the only thing for it is truth-telling. Now.
Where did we ever get the idea that to be Jesus-followers, we had to be a milquetoast group of people? And why did the word ‘nice’ become for too many people, both inside and outside the church, the word that epitomizes Christianity?
Jesus certainly wasn’t ‘nice’ a lot of the time. He was kind, generous, interesting, intelligent,
empathetic, powerful, but nice? It doesn’t quite fit, somehow. How did we lose sight of the prophetic voice of Jesus, the straight-talking, cut-to-the-chase, tell-it-like-it-is Jesus? Or the Jesus who saw people suffer and die and responded with ‘indignation,’ literally with a tightening in his guts, the kind of tightening that we’re all familiar with, if we’re honest.
Because here’s the truth — anger, in and of itself, is a neutral thing. It’s an honest emotion, triggered by a wide variety of circumstances and situations. It’s what we do with the anger that adds moral valence, right?
We have all seen anger misused, exaggerated, overplayed and misplaced. Those are times when the emotion of anger gets all tangled up with pride or fear or jealousy. But pure anger, honest indignation when things are not right, are not just? That kind of anger is a powerful thing, a force that can change the world, when it’s submitted to God, focussed on justice and used to motivate people to change for the better.
If you’d like to read a post that takes that powerful emotion and channels it directly through the Holy Spirit to challenge the hearts and minds of others, hop on over to Sarah Styles Bessey’s post and see what I mean.