With almost a year before our next presidential elections, the political climate is becoming more angry and accusative. It makes me wonder how we as a country have become so adversarial. We have freedoms that are the envy of many other countries, but we spend much of our time with anger and controversy.
More and more, we are becoming a people of anger. The TV news each day presents actions done by individuals or groups based on the frustration or anger about a situation they want to change. Those news items usually lead the broadcast and are given the most time on air.
What is anger? The dictionary defines it as “a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism.” There are different levels of intensity and outward manifestations of the anger. In one newscast there were walk outs because of offense taken about the mention of names and words used in the past. The words were not appropriate, but the anger and misunderstanding was worse. Because of the accusations, there were loud confrontations and even some violent protests. People often speak without listening for the truth. There can be no understanding and forgiveness if people talk at each other without listening to each other.
Does good come out of anger? It is my impression that anger is often irrational and doesn’t result in a positive outcome. We tend to focus on ourselves and what we think works best for us or meets our personal standards.
Is anger ever OK? God burned with anger and killed people because of things they had done. (Exodus 32:9, 10) Can we compare ourselves to God? He is perfectly righteous, gracious and slow to anger. (Exodus 34:6)
We are instructed, even commanded to become angry, but not sin. Romans 12:19-20 says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord.” We are also told that our anger does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:20)
I know being a peacemaker is not my natural tendency. I can only do it through God’s Spirit living in me. If I remain connected to the vine (Jesus Christ), I will bear fruit that will last: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Galatians 5:22,23)
Dr. Dick Jongewaard retired from Sioux Center Health in 2014 after serving as a medical doctor for 38 years. He and his wife, Pat, live in Sioux Center.