Anger. The Quick Fix.

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Seemingly poles apart, what’s driving all the political campaigns, the Black-Lives-Matter movement, the Blue-Lives-Matter movement, the radicalized religious bombers, the conspiracy-theorists?

Anger.

Anger is the heroin of our public discourse.

Anger is adrenalin’s cheap-shot.

Anger is in the back of my mind. In the back of your mind, too.

No, you might say, it’s driven by a desire for justice, or by hope. Not really. The source of it all is anger. Anger on all sides, anger from all races, anger from all social classes. Angry over immigration, on all sides. Anger over police abuse, on all sides. Angry birds, angry talking-heads, angry mobs, angry religions.

Surprised by anger?

Christians are never surprised by anger, because we understand it’s love’s opposite. We understand it’s the default human response. We understand it’s the normal natural way to respond to threat and injustice.So we’re not surprised, although usually disappointed. We’re not surprised by conflict or abuse. Saddened to tears, yes, surprised no.

This is the moment for Christians to demonstrate love. Not jelly-bean candy-cotton sickeningly-sweet love. But real love; sacrificial love. This is the moment for Christians to figure out how to live love in this context, an angry context. You don’t need a grand jury investigation or an FBI investigation to know every detail of every atrocity. Whether it’s Istanbul or Minnesota, I can assure you it’s an escalating cycle of anger that can only be broken by love’s intervention.

So what should we do? The basic rule of love is “Don’t look out for #1,” for yourself. The identifying characteristic of love is that it seeks the good of the other above our own good.

Even as we weep. Even as we repent. Even as we work for justice. We love sacrificially.

God so loved that he gave… That’s the story we’re to imitate. “yes but they might kill us.” Right. That’s what happened, isn’t it? But whenever we look to further our own cause, our own finances, our own “kind of people” we deny the faith that depends on our father. Faith is being at risk, faith is trusting that we don’t have to defend ourselves. Faith was embodied by our Lord who laid his life down, on purpose, to an angry mob, not just to forgive us our sins but also to show us how to love.

So, am I some kind of loving pacifist?

Would that make you angry if I were?

 

David Roller
By David Roller

David T. Roller served for 17 years as a Free Methodist missionary in Mexico, then for 10 years as Latin America Area Director for Free Methodist World Missions and in July of 2007 was elected a bishop of the Free Methodist Church of North America.

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