living in an angry culture

I referred to a timely, helpful post over at Jesus Creed by “T” entitled, Spiritual Politics in an Age of Anger. I commented that I haven’t listened or watched such media (except for a snippet or two, recently with no desire of going back, but rather the desire to stay away) for years. But that the challenge for me is to be around people who regularly imbibe such, and if you let them can go on for hours and hours talking about it. Not that such can’t turn into a useful, good discussion.

Actually I have my own toxin that hits closer to where I live which over the years I’ve gradually left and this year I’m leaving behind completely. It is perfectly innocent in itself (although not without issues), but I find myself lurred into signficant time reading up on it, and caught up in a kind of anger or unhealthy attitude for me, that I want no part of. I’m sure others involved in what I’m leaving behind have no such problem (or very little at the worst). I know at least one such person.

But in regard to the anger spoken of in the post, the greatest danger for me is to react in anger: tit for tat, fire in reaction to fire. James 3 speaks about the evil that the tongue can bring, certainly out of anger which is said to come from the pit of hell and which James says we’re to be slow to arrive at, and that anger does not bring about the righteousness God desires (James 1). And then ends with what true wisdom is:

first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

It is a struggle, and it’s not like I think I can arrive to any sinless perfection in connection with it. But it is a vice, even one of the “seven deadly sins” I don’t want to be caught up in. Something to be aware of, to pray about for oneself and for others. As we seek to follow the one who gives us the peace and salvation we need.

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