Sunday, August 8, 2010

Righteous Indignation, what is it?

Righteous indignation is typically a reactive emotion of anger over perceived mistreatment, insult, or malice. It is akin to what is called the sense of injustice. In some Christian doctrines, righteous indignation is considered the only form of anger which is not sinful, e.g., when Jesus drove the money lenders out of the temple.

It happens to the best of us. Someone says or does something to you or one of your family members and your flesh begins to crawl. You get ‘hot under the collar’. You may even want to ‘slap someone’, but is that going to bring someone closer to Christ and His teachings?

Should righteous indignation be allow to run rampart and uncontrolled? Do we go out and ‘smack’ the person behind you in the theatre who is constantly kicking your seat? Do you catch-up with that person on the highway and run him off the road because he cut you off? Would putting your fist through a wall justify that you didn’t get that raise you were promised? Sure, other people can be annoying, but sometimes we can be a pest too. No one is exempt.

Few things get this writers’ goat, but recently being ignored in a professional manner was the straw to break the camel’s back (or should one say fingers). Once you’ve said something, typed something, or written something, and you send it out – it can’t be reeled back in. Look at things said, or written by celebrities & politicians. You’ve got to be discrete in the manner that you handle a matter.

So when you are tempted to retaliate over injustices that have been done to you, take a moment and calm down, think of the repercussions, and if you need to let that other person know of their wrong-doing; do it in a way that will benefit you and that other person too. Prove to that other person that you can show love. If you have to say something to a person – say it kindly and respectfully. Don’t let thoughts fester (our thoughts can be as a ‘cancer’ if we allow them to). “Say What You Need To Say”, forgive, report any abuse, let it go and then refocus on the positive.

Romans 12:9-21 (King James Version) 9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

What are some things that get your ‘righteous indignation’ in a knot?