A recent news headline read, “Clashes between police and protesters as ‘Day of Rage’ turns ugly”.
The headline referred to an organised day of political protest intended to express anger in regard to many areas of perceived injustice in the UK. It came a few days after the dreadful fire at the Grenfell Tower in London, where there were so many injuries and fatalities. Some protesters were taking the opportunity to express anger about this seemingly needless loss of life, through perhaps careless building practices.
Interestingly the Bible encourages us to be angry, in the same way that God is angry, about the widespread injustice in this world. But it is interesting that the organisers of this particular day chose to use the word rage, which in its origins is derived from the word rabies, a particularly unpleasant disease which humans can catch from animals. The symptoms of rabies in dogs, for example, have frequently included uncontrollable aggression, and it is from observing this behaviour that the word rage was derived.
It is no wonder that the Bible goes on to warn us not to let anger lead us into sin, where the passion to put right injustice is no longer under godly control but has been allowed free reign in spiritual darkness. I suggest that this is the point where anger has been given licence to become rage, released both internally and externally.
From a biblical viewpoint, entitling a day of protest as a permitted day of rage was very likely to turn ugly. In the ever-increasing pursuit of so-called freedom, the world claims entitlement to express feelings in any way a person might choose, but God has warned us through today’s scripture that this is not necessarily freedom at all, but actually more likely to be a pathway to spiritual bondage, playing right into the enemy’s hands.
Prayer: Father God, teach me to be angry in agreement with You about all that is not right in this world, but also to recognise when my anger has ceased to be under Your control. Amen.
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