We need a power at work within us that is greater than the fuel of anger at injustice, violence and evil. We need love.
Some of the greatest reformers of the past—William Wilberforce, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr.—all believed in a transcendent cause and a just universe. Even our founder, Aimee Semple McPherson, was known as a reformer. Sister Aimee was unapologetically courageous in her ministry. She was fully committed to preaching the love of God for every nation, as revealed in the person of Jesus (John 3:16).
The world is broken. Simply being angry is not a solution to the problems we face (Jas. 1:20). Our anger must be transformed into love. Loving one another—even our enemies—is the test of genuine discipleship (Luke 6:27-28). It is also the primary motivation for our fight against injustice.
There are spiritual imperatives at work here. If we ignore those, taking God out of the picture, there is no transcendent standard for justice, and our moral compass falters. Likewise, when we remove Satan from consideration, we try to turn others into “Satan,” leading us to hate them and banishing a unifying love that redeems us all.
Channel your sorrow, anger and angst into prayer. Pray through your emotions. Don’t be controlled by them or bow down to them. When you take things to God in prayer, it changes your heart and converts your motives to love. The angst and disillusionment that makes you feel like deconstructing everything needs to be taken to God in prayer so that He can rebuild. Weeping leads to renewal, but anger leads to nothing. If you don’t bring it to God, it will simply be you on a social justice crusade, and you will burn out.
Love is in our DNA, and to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves should be our guiding ethic.
Prayer + Reflection
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any place in your heart where fear, unresolved anger or an offense may be dictating your responses to what is happening today.
- Pray the Scriptures. The Bible has many sections that give voice to inner turmoil (the Psalms, Lamentations, Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane). Pick one to pray when you feel angry, and ask God to turn your anger to love.
- Jesus said that His followers were different from the world. We pray for those who hurt us, even our enemies. We walk in forgiveness and impart grace. Is there anyone in your circle of relationship or in the public sector whom you need to forgive?
- Pray about the bigger issues swirling and causing anger or sadness in the world. Ask God for His eyes to see others’ hearts and for His love to shine through you.
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