|The Apostle in Romans 2:8
warns against indignation.
It is a rage usually over a shocking act that makes one
blind with anger. There is plenty to be outraged by in
our society. But angry outrage makes us err in judgment.
The media in our society likes outrages and from them to work up indignation. For example, indignation sells newspapers. It attracts more people to television where a wider audience may see the commercials and buy.
In politics candidates use indignation to be elected or further selfish agendas. Sometimes public indignation is worked up to persuade nations to go to war. These wars may create great riches for the few through the manufacturing of armaments. Wars affect the laws of supply and demand. Beware because manipulative people are out for your money or your vote.
I caution you not to be used or manipulated by ones trying to spread or create indignation. Be distrustful of solutions proposed by the indignant for they tend to be unbalanced and disproportionate. Sometimes blinded by rage.
Ours is a manipulative society. Nearly everything is manipulative and done for selfish reasons. Do not fall for it. Refrain from entering into indignation and the mood of blind rage that it spreads.
And do not fall for the often simplistic, over simplified and easy solutions that spring up in blind raging. The Bible refers to those who use grievances to stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) Do not let yourself be stirred up. Retain the balance of your mind in Christ.
The natural impulse of something shocking is anger. Anger is normal and there is nothing wrong with being normal. But what begins through nature ends in grace. Nature must at times be redeemed by grace. Nature must often be transformed by grace.
We see this when Jesus teaches not to let anger respond to anger. If we are hit, not to hit back in anger. (Matthew 5:39) God’s Kingdom is here. The reign of grace has begun. There is nothing wrong with the natural but the natural must be filled by grace. Someone must turn the other cheek, absorb the blow, and give a pause for higher thinking, better values.
Nature followed by more nature can become fallen nature. What is built on natural emotions finally becomes self-destructive emotions. At some time redemption must enter in the rounds of life and nature. Saving grace must enter in to redeem the day from nature that is wonderful in one way, but red, tooth and claw, in another way.
Grace is called upon to redeem the dark side of nature that is red, tooth and claw. Now there is a side of nature which is full of wonder to see and fun to feel. Grace is buried in nature as evidenced from the warmth and charm of motherhood. That is one side of nature.
But there is another side of nature that calls for grace to redeem it. Fighting, hate, and balanced killing. That side of nature is in us also. It must be redeemed by transforming grace, self-control and compassion.
When faced with sad situations that come from the dark side of nature, naturally we feel anger. We feel indignation. But what we may feel like doing is not what we may do. So we have to be wiser than anger or indignation. We must rise to transcending grace. We must try to raise our consciousness to the level that Christ recommends on the issue.
In grace we must think on the problem that causes indignation with prayer, meditation and intelligence. Revenge may be a normal response, but that is not a response acceptable to Christ. Vengeance is God’s. (Hebrews 10:30) We must rise in grace to the level of what is “Good and Acceptable in the sight of God.” (I Timothy 2:3)
The way to solve a problem is not to surrender to indignation, however justified it may be, but to rise to the calmness and objectivity of grace. The answer is to be more spiritual in our response than raging indignation.
The way to solve a problem is calmly and with prayer. Then you should work out some plan in steps. Then you apply your plan, follow it, go back to check it, and when necessary, revise it. Make a sustained effort in Christ.
I warn you really to solve a problem in a manner acceptable to God, you must think in a state of grace. If you consider without grace, you may be clever, but you will be low and mean. That which is acceptable to God is not mean.
To make really good decisions, you need what James 3:17 refers to as “the wisdom that is from above.” Just as scripture must be read under the influence of the Holy Spirit, true “wisdom from above” comes from the descent of grace. When you have it, you are aware of it. It will have a touch of the “Peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:23) as you decide to do Christ’s Will.
Some lazy people, because they cannot be indignant, give up and do nothing. This is wrong. You should redeem the situation with grace as best you can. By doing nothing, you fall into the category of the insensate.
But when you do something, even though you are wrong, your effort is justified by faith and grace. So you will be right even though what you do may turn out wrong because God is an observer of the heart’s intent.
If at all possible, let the solutions to your problems be morally creative and not deadly conventional, deaf to the Living Spirit of Christ.
If you discipline others in your. solution, do it from a background where your self-discipline is obvious. Let them see you do not ask them to do what you do not. Let moderation be seen (Philippians 4:5) and not bitterness. Finally consider what you feel to be the Will of God and do it from your heart. (Ephesians 6:6)
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.