Angry, Angry, Angry
By Francis Frangipane
It’s hard to remember a time when people were more angry. A civilized person ought to be, first of all, civil. Yet, today there is no discourse, no respect for another’s opinion, no reasoning together for the common good. I am concerned, especially for the church.
One may argue, “Our society is decaying. We should be mad.” Yes, but we can be angry yet still not sin (see Eph 4:26). [Eph. 4:26 fully says (with verses 26b and 27): “be angry and do not sin; let not the sun go down upon your wrath. neither give place to the devil” – ed.].
I will tell you how I look at this. I believe that if the Almighty’s highest plan was to end evil on Earth, He could do so in a flash. Why does He wait? He desires to bring believers to Christlike maturity. In a moment evil would be gone, as it was with Sodom and Gomorrah. But we must never forget: Jesus did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
What God waits for is us. Our Christlike perfection is the harvest upon which the Father waits. He desires to bring many sons to glory, and this world, with all its evil, is the perfect setting to bring us to Christlike maturity. Here, we have real enemies that God can use to perfect our love; in this environment, we have actual foes whose persecution helps to perfect our prayer.
Yes, we should be angry about what’s wrong, but we must be Christlike in making things right. We cannot just be political; we must be spiritual, like people from another realm.
Rightly there are times when we must defend the helpless among us, but concerning ourselves, let us consider again what Jesus commanded:
“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:39-45).
You see, God desires mature sons and daughters who, while fighting for their world, open the door of love into His world. To see our nation transformed, we ourselves must be transformed. Otherwise, we will risk becoming Christian hypocrites: angry that the world is not Christian but untroubled that we are not Christlike.