Thursday, December 12, 2013

On Rage and Outrage: Part One

So much of rage is rooted in entitlement.  I've discovered that in my own life, through the Wisdom of Holy Spirit.  Entitlement and self-justification are bedfellows.  Indignation, once perverted, becomes outrage; also not good.
"...  So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God." (James 1:19)
Ever fly off the handle about various things, repeatedly?  I have and, during the tirades, I've felt as if their object(s) absolutely deserved the abuse I was rendering. That's when Holy Spirit usually asks me, what is it of the wrath of God that you deserve?
Abba's wrath - were it to be levied upon me - would be totally righteous and not the feverishly unfounded hissy-fits I've so often perpetrated against others based solely upon my own views of offense.
But, before we go too far, I believe asking this question makes sense:
Does God recognize that there are reasons to be angry and that there is such a thing as "righteous indignation", as opposed to rage or outrage?  He most certainly does.  He makes no secret of the truth that He also gets angry.  However, there is a way to handle such depth of emotion according to His goodness.
“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath..." (Eph. 4:26)
Loosed to fleshly ways, "wrath" per se oozes desires for revenge and retribution; retaliation also flows through its veins, and that's not mankind's jurisdiction, entitlement, or privilege.  To cool my jets, it also helps to remind myself that God says, "vengeance is Mine - I will repay." (Romans 12:19b)
But where does that leave us when we've been legitimately mistreated and - frankly - we're furious about it?  It leaves us where every happening in life does - at the point of decision.
It's pious and easy for us to blurt out these words of Joshua as he declares his allegiance to God, but it's another matter entirely to delve into the actual conduct defining that allegiance:
"... choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
Serving the Lord means doing what He says.  When it comes to people classified as our "enemies", what does God say we should do regarding them?  How are we to conduct and govern our true "house" (our being) before the Lord?
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt. 5:44-45) 
Talk about a flesh killer...!
What are we going to do with that when we're outraged and seeing red, my friends?  That's the true question and point of decision.  That's also what, Lord willing, we'll continue discussing on Saturday.
Daddy's Girl
"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)