Anger Begets Violence

We have become a society that has too often legitimatized anger, however small the offense. The result is sometimes a violence enacted due to a small offense. We are an angry society, and anger is always only one step removed from violence.

Our Master became angry only for the honor of God (cleansing of the temple) and for the help of others (healing the withered hand in the synagogue). On both occasions, the anger resulted in helpful deeds. Once the deeds were done, the anger subsided.

In contrast to this, many believers in our culture rightly start as angry over a particular issue, but then sin by staying angry rather than by doing something helpful that might have a positive result in the situation. If anger is not driving us to positive action, we need to let it go, to not let it seethe.

We can learn from our own nation's history here. I just finished Peskin's biography of James Garfield. When this extremely popular President was assassinated, the nation fell into a depth of mourning almost equal to that shown when Lincoln was shot. I want to quote here what to me was the most important truth of this 614-page book. I see us dangerously perched on the same precipice. I covet your thoughts. Respond on my Facebook post.

"In the face of tragedy, all political and sectional differences were, for the moment swept aside, to be replaced by an awesome unity of grief and affection. A nation which had avidly followed the mock battles of politics, realized with a guilty shock that sham battles can create real casualties" (page 599).

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