Anger Does Not Bring Righteousness

Recently I have been frustrated and upset by statements on blogs and in the media, as well as comments in both places, that show a hatred of Christians and Christianity. Some of this comes from ignorance about what Christians truly believe or how Christ has called us to live in the world. We are called stupid and intolerant, even hate mongers. Our beliefs are ridiculed as myth or worse, and it is suggested that no one with half a brain could actually be a Christian and believe that the Bible is really the Word of God.

My first instinct is to respond with my own comments about how wrong those who attack Christianity are. I feel angry, but I know bitterness and an angry response would not be pleasing to God. So I slow down and seek the counsel of wise Christians who remind me that what I am called to do is love even those who hate me and are my enemies.

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28.

Then I pray and ask God for wisdom. He reminds me that He warned us this would happen:

[Jesus said,] “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. John 15:18-21.

I am also reminded that being hated because I cling to Him is not a bad thing in the long run. In His famous beatitudes, Jesus said:

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets. Luke 6:22-23.

Sometimes the lessons I must learn are difficult and challenging to my heart and soul. My sinful nature tries to take over and wants to pay back what has been dished out to me. My pride swells up and I become indignant over the accusation that I am not intelligent because I believe in God. I did, after all, graduate from law school cum laude. I went to a very prestigious college and graduated in the top 11% of my class. I am an excellent writer, and my logic and reasoning skills are superb. How dare someone suggest that I am stupid because of what I believe about the origin of the universe and who Jesus is! They are the stupid ones and I could prove them . . .

But that is not the Godly way. As James pointed out, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20. This verse is actually my screen saver on my computer at work, and for good reason because I need to be reminded of it regularly. What I need to remember, too, is that those who attack Christians are lost. They don’t know God, but God knows them and wants to have a relationship with them. “The Lord . . . is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. My own pride and indignation will not further His goal. Only love can accomplish it.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


8 Responses

  1. The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad. — Friedrich Nietzsche

    I came upon that quote and I would like to hear your wisdom about the thought and the person maybe. It made me think actually — “Are the Christians the only ones who see the ‘ugly and bad’ side of the world?”

    “Is Santa Claus a Christian because he knows the bad ones from the good ones?”

    • Rea, You’ve brought up memories of reading Nietzsche in college. I never like his writing. Something else he wrote is that God did not create man, man created God. He was definitely an atheist. I disagree with the quote you have found. There is no Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad, but rather to find God holy, good, and merciful. As Christians, we do recognize the sinful nature of mankind, but that is not what makes mankind sinful – or “ugly and bad.” Consider this, if I see the grass as green, that is not what makes it green, even if someone else sees it as blue.

      I also don’t think Christians are the only ones who see the evil in the world, but we are often the only ones who can see the evil in our own hearts. Non-believers can easily point to others and see their evil and blame the ugly and bad in the world on them. This is essentially what Nietzsche has done here. He has seen external evil and blamed it on Christians, but never sees the evil in his own heart. We have no control to change others, but for ourselves we can invite the Holy Spirit to help us overcome the ugly and bad in our own hearts. That is the Christian resolution – to rely on God to help us overcome our own evil.

      As for Santa Claus, he is based on a bishop – St. Nicholas – who was a Christian who gave to poor children in the name of Christ. As for the present-day Santa Claus, the fact that he can see who is naughty and who is nice is not the measure of whether he is a Christian. There is a verse (which I have been unable to find in my search, but I’ll keep looking) that says man judges on the external but only God sees what is in the hearts of men. Santa Claus is just a man who judges based on external appearances. Only God knows how we have grappled with our own sinful desires and turned to Him for redemption.

      Okay, that was a really long comment, but I hope this answers your questions. 🙂 Peace, Linda

      • Thank you so much Linda — this helps me understand Christianity further. It is such a blessing that we can see evil in our hearts and we have a God who can help us overcome it; that we have a God who sees our hearts!

        How about Neale Donald Walsch’ Conversations With God — what can you say about his thoughts about God?

      • Rea, I am glad I could be of help. You may have noticed that your question inspired my blog post today. 🙂 I’m not familiar with Walsch. I’ll have to check it out and get back to you. Peace, Linda

  2. I didn’t see the connection at first, Ann, but now it’s sinking in. It’s a sermon for me too! I keep posting things and then He uses them in my own life.
    Linda, you are on one of those rolls again, and it’s a good one. So thankful that you respond to His guidance and voice, because it’s always what I need!

  3. *sigh*

    Linda… thak you so much.

    I will sneak back out now…between you and Deb, there is a sermon in here somewhere.

    Thanks for sharing, Linda. Thank you.

    • Ann, How sweet of you to say thanks not once, not twice, but three times! This has been a very hard lesson for me, but worth the learning in the end. Peace, Linda

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