Thought for the Day: Let that soak in for a moment, especially the second half: “…anger does not produce God’s righteousness.” Now I don’t wish to suggest that James was wrong, and in fact, I won’t. At the same time, it is important to clarify the difference between unhinged anger and righteous indignation. Righteous indignation is often called anger, and maybe it is a form of anger, but it is not an unhealthy anger. That’s the reason I prefer to use righteous indignation as it allows for some clarification in our semantics. I see a lot of unhinged anger today, and most of it is emerging from fear that is recklessly seeking someone to blame. Righteous indignation emerges, not from fear, but from a deep-seated understanding and conviction of rightness (or justice). And like fingernails on the chalkboard, when something before us is inconsistent with that sense of rightness, there is a part of us that cannot remain silent. Before one can feel righteous indignation, it is necessary to know what the rightness of God looks like. And if we allow the life of Jesus to be our starting place, from the meals he shared to the parables he taught, we will begin to glimpse what the rightness of God is for our own lives and for our community.
Prayer: There are things that make me angry. There are people who can bring the worst out of me. Merciful God, continue to show me ways of living that do not allow for anger to consume me in unhealthy ways. Yet where a little righteous indignation is needed, allow for me to speak your rightness, your justice to the world. Amen.
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