This form entry stirred so many thoughts I couldn’t bear to respond privately.
So with Steve’s permission,
you are being allowed to listen in on my response to his comments on my two previous blogs on anger:
“when anger takes us by surprise” and “the fire of anger.”
In this blog we’ll deal with his first paragraph.
"Your thoughts about anger were interesting. I see and hear so much injustice that I have gotten into the habit of choosing not to think of some things, because I can't do anything about them. For example, I can get very angry thinking about discarded baby girls in China, but because I feel helpless to do anything about it, I put the thoughts out of my mind. I am a mission director and I am doing all that I can already. But I am not sure that's the right way of dealing with my feelings."
I understand, Steve, that feeling of being overwhelmed by the evil in our world.
But I, too, sense that trying to ignore the anger I feel may not be the best way to deal with it.
In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,
Stephen R Covey explains the importance of focusing on our circle of influence rather than our circle of concern.
He recommends avoiding wasting time and emotional energy on things that concern us but are beyond our control.
The key is to determine what we can influence.
While writing devotional and discussion guides for my novels, I have seen some things that may be helpful.
Let’s try it out just for fun.
Suppose I witness a huge injustice that I perceive to be outside my circle of influence.
The pain burns hot in my heart.
What do I do?
I could attempt to forget about it, but it will still be there,
disquieting my heart, a simmering sickness under the surface
causing me to feel helpless, ashamed, frustrated, confused.
What if, instead of stuffing,
I, as one of God’s children,
accepted responsibility for what is within my realm of influence?
Perhaps this sharp pain of anger is God’s way of prompting me to run to Him, my Heavenly Father, crying for help.
What if that is my responsibility?
What if in the heat of my righteous anger I immediately cry out to God?
That passionate cry will be fueled with an intensity of deep and sincere concern
a bit different than I usually experience in my chosen times to pray.
“Lord, I feel the pain of this injustice that hurts Your heart.
I admit I am helpless to do anything to remedy this terrible situation, but You are not.
at creation You gave Adam’s race the right to rule earth,
and Jesus taught us to ask that Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
So I am doing my part, the part I can do.
Right now, I appeal to You to intervene in this injustice.
I release this situation into Your almighty hands.
Call in people to do what needs to be done.
If there is a part You want me to do, make it clear to me exactly what it is.
Otherwise, I will rest in You faithfulness to answer this prayer.
I will resist the accuser's harassments as he attempts to rob me of my peace and joy, my confidence in You.
Each time this situation comes to my mind, I will rejoice that You are already at work.”
What do you think, Steve?
Is this doing my part?
Readers are free to make comments by going to “Comments” to the right of the title.
Until next time, if you experience the heat of righteous anger in your heart, use it to your advantage.
Allow the fire of anger to fuel your passion as you cry for God's intervention.
David, the Psalmist, was good at that.
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:17 NIV