Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9
It’s a travesty that’s happening over and over again in our society and we’ve all fallen victim to it at some point. We see a picture, a video, a news story, or writing depicting something offensive or wrong and we’re quick to get angry, quick to point the finger, quick to jump on the bandwagon of the mob.
And I get it. There are just some things that are not acceptable, and we should be angry and stand up against it. However, we’re becoming too eager to be angry before we get all the facts. Instead of backing away and giving people the benefit of the doubt, we’re assuming bad intentions right off, slandering people’s good names, and causing more division.
Don’t believe me? Just look at what happened to the boys at Covington Catholic High School. How many of us only saw the picture of the teenage white boy wearing a MAGA hat smirking in the face of an elderly Indian man and became angry? I know I did. And then, come to find out, all the outrage was unwarranted when the full story came to light. What a lesson for us all!
However, while some of us felt sorrow and shame for making such quick judgments, you still had those feeding the anger by showing pictures of Covington students painted at a basketball game in what they called “blackface.” Yet, again, if everyone would just step back and get the full story, we would realize this was a blackout game — a popular practice where everyone wears black in order to exhibit school spirit or throw off the other team.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matt. 5:6
I know that’s what most of us are striving for here, but we’ve got to realize that hungering and thirsting for righteousness means examining the facts before we allow our anger to take over. We want the truth, we want what’s right, we want to stand up against racism and hate crimes, but let’s not do it at the expense of accusing everyone and everything that may not look “right.” That’s not fair, that’s not righteousness, and that’s definitely not an atmosphere that creates mercy and peace for Jesus also says:
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matt. 5:7
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matt. 5:9
So, yes, let’s hunger and thirst for righteousness, but let’s also be merciful and peacemakers in the process. Let’s learn from the Covington Catholic High School fiasco and realize that the eagerness to become angry resides in the bosom of fools.
Lord, I am saddened by the ways I have made snap judgments on others and have been eager to become angry. I have been a fool, and I ask that You will forgive me and help me to hunger and thirst for righteousness in a way that also extends mercy and peace in the process. Never do I want to be okay with anything that is a clear act of racism or hate upon any human being, so please give me the patience and discernment to know when I should become angry, speak out against, or act upon any of these heinous crimes. I pray that there will be healing, forgiveness, and peace for all those who were involved in the Covington incident. May we all learn from these mistakes so that we can create communities founded upon peace, mercy, and righteousness. By the instruction and love of my Savior I confidently know that You, my Lord, hear these petitions. Amen.
Truth in love,