Richard Exley Ministries


Anger Is Not the Answer
Posted on October 07, 2008

“Without a return to civility in our public discourse I fear anger may well escalate into violence.” 

Anger is epidemic! Given the financial fiasco on Wall Street and in Washington, not to mention the vitriolic Presidential campaign and it’s easy to see why. Hard working Americans feel ripped off and betrayed! They want somebody to blame, anybody – greedy Wall Street investment firms, self-serving politicians, activists groups whose radical agenda undermined the integrity of our economic system – anybody. They want heads to roll, somebody has got to pay!

Who can blame them? The melt down on Wall Street has, according to some experts, resulted in the loss of one trillion dollars of value. Americans are reeling! In the past two weeks the face of America has changed. A recession now seems inevitable and a world wide economic depression is a very real possibility. And in tough economic times no one hurts more than the poor.

The people we elected to look after things have done everything but mind the store. In fact some of them may have had their hands in the till. For certain they looked the other way while their friends mismanaged things or in some cases robbed us blind. No wonder people are mad.

But is anger the best response?

I think not. Anger begets anger even as violence begets violence. And we must never become a monster in order to destroy a monster. Given the current level of anger – fueled by talk radio, cable television and internet blogs – that’s a very real danger. In today’s political climate ideological differences turn neighbors into enemies and truth is trampled underfoot in the rush to judgment. Is it too much of a stretch to say that such venomous emotions were the seed beds that fueled genocide in places like Kosovo and Rwanda? And lest you think it could never happen here let’s not forget the fate of tens of thousands of Native Americans. Without a return to civility in our public discourse I fear anger may well escalate into violence. 

As Christians we talk about loving our neighbor as our self and even about loving our enemy, but if we are not careful love is swallowed up in anger. Tolerance is politically correct but more often than not tolerance goes out the window when political ideologies collide. So what can we do?

 “...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:19-21).

I’m reminded of a dear friend who went through an extremely difficult time. He was misunderstood and falsely accused. As a result he lost his job and suffered some serious health issues. Through it all he maintained a positive attitude.  Not once did he speak disparagingly of those who had engineered his demise.  

Over coffee one morning, I asked him how he managed to keep such positive outlook. Without a moment’s hesitation he replied, “I’ve never been a bitter or vindictive person and I’m not going to allow anyone to make me into something I’m not.”

Now that’s a word to the wise! In these tumultuous times we must guard our hearts and our minds. We cannot allow heated political differences, financial crises or hard times to turn us into angry or bitter people. Determine right now that with God's help you are not going to allow anyone or anything to make you into something you are not.

This is Richard Exley straight from the heart.

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Category: Politics