When I get angry, I cannot breathe. When I am angry, I lose my connection with the Spirit and simply react without a thought of the consequences. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged the power of anger- and he advised that when confronted with hate, “you must be willing to suffer the anger of the opponent, and yet not return anger.”
It is important to note that anger is not evil in and of itself. While anger can beget terrible violence. It can also be a catalyst for positive constructive action that can result in a seismic shift.
In 1963, Clarence Jones, an attorney and speechwriter for Dr. King went to see King in a jail in Birmingham. Jones recalls that King was angry because he had seen a full page ad in a local newspaper written by a white clergyman. The Clergy’s letter stated that Dr. King should leave the city without mentioning the injustice that drew him there. King’s response was to write the famous Letter from a Birmingham jail where he discussed the justifiable anger of Blacks.
Throughout his life, King demonstrated how to use anger productively. When asked how to avoid lashing out at loved ones when one is angry, he said, “You expel a lower vice by concentrating on a higher virtue. “ In other words, “a destructive passion is harnessed by directing that same passion into constructive channels.”
It is constructive to Protest, to Demonstrate, to Write, to March, to Speak, to Set an Example, to VOTE and yes, even to agitate. Recall that when Jesus was confronted with people of power who defiled the temple of God, he reacted by turning over tables and driving them out of the temple.
We know that the bodies of the people of God, like the temple of God, are vessels for the Holy Spirit. Therefore, no one has the right to defile our bodies through hundreds of years of unspeakable terror. I stand in solidarity with the protesters on the front lines agitating for change throughout the US. Our anger is justified and it is time to drive out of power all those who will not enforce the laws of this land justly.
I am in prayer now to determine how to channel my anger into constructive action. In my experience, it takes Spirit Power to exercise restraint while simultaneously working to enact change for the the better. It's a promise, darlings.
15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"
to drive out those who would defame the temple of God (the bodies of God’s people).
Striving for balance
Running too hot or too cold or lukewarm is never a favored position in the Christian Life. Instead, a balanced life directed by an all knowing God is best. Consider a vine: vines need never ask fret over which way to go or how they will be fortified because of their close connection to their life source. The result: they go where they are directed energized by the sap from their maker. Jesus likewise benefited from a perfect relationship with God. Every step He took was guided by the Spirit. He worked when directed. He rested when directed. He preached when directed. He celebrated when directed. His life was perfect because his life was a perfect balance of intellect, physicality, emotion- mind, body, spirit. The effort is ours. But, happiness comes when we trust God with the directions. Any other approach including taking matters into our own hands, will leave us weary and disillusioned. There is no joy apart from God. This is the truth, darlings.
Seeking Happiness? Me too.