Love and Righteous Indignation, Scott Kinnaird

"My indignation has consumed me, because my enemies forget your words" - Psalm 119:139

Being consumed by anything is not a good thing. Even if the indignation that consumes us is righteous, the imbalance we and those around us will experience is not healthy.

Indignation is a precursor to anger, which is the seedbed of hate. And, hate is borne of fear. As Christians our objective is Love, which cannot reside with fear. (1 John 4:18) To achieve that objective, we must avoid indignation rather than seek out ways we know will increase it.

But, how can we avoid indignation and its negative chain reaction when it leaps out at us from our TV and mobile devices? Especially when it comes to social injustice. We don't have to look for issues that divide us and suck us away from love and into the trap of perpetual negativity. Those issues come find us.

This is a paradox for today's socially active Disciples -- how can we make a difference for the good of all people without ruining our relationships with family and friends who may not hold the same priorities and truths in their hearts and minds as we do?

The answer is Love.

The 1960's cultural icon, Richard Alpert said, "Going around being angry at everything and everybody is don’t have to act out of anger in order to oppose something. Social action does not have to be pumped up by righteous indignation or anger. That’s working with the dark forces. That’s working with fear. You can work with love. You can oppose somebody out of love. You can do social action out of love. And that’s the way you win the whole war, not just the battle."

Lord, help me avoid arguing with people until they forget your words. Help me practice not being so indignant over the behavior of others. Help me remember the sun rises on the unjust as well as the just and that you love all of your children equally. Amen.

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