Everyone is angry.
At least that's what it seems like when I turn on cable news in the morning. Or when I periodically scroll through my Facebook feed.
Every time I turn around I am being asked to boycott something or another, sign a petition... It feels to me as though our culture has become addicted to outrage. We can't live without it.
We feel threatened. We feel afraid. We see the world changing rapidly in front of our eyes. We experience tragedies that could have been avoided. We weather storms and floods and fire.
And the pain we feel often turns to anger.
In her book Braving the Wilderness, author Brene Brown writes:
"Anger is a catalyst. Holding on to it will make us exhausted and sick. Internalizing anger will take away our joy and spirit; externalizing anger will make us less effective in our attempts to create change and forge connection."
Christians are not exempt from this struggle with anger. In fact, Christians often seem to be the people who are the most angry.
James the brother of Jesus wrote this excellent piece of advice to the first century Church--advice that is so relevant today:
"Do not become angry easily, because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants."
What we need to realize is that there is a difference between anger and holy discontent. Holy discontent is when you see that the world is not as it should be, and you want to do something about it. Holy discontent is when you see injustice and you long for it to be made right.
May you turn your anger into holy discontent today. May you be a spark of hope, light and peace in a world that has become dark with outrage. May you bring joy and life to every conversation, every interaction, every moment of your day today and every day.
And may the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.