Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. (NLT)
There is much wrong with our world, much to criticise, much to improve. It is not godly to sit back and do nothing, to stay silent for fear of being opposed, to be paralysed with fear and hopelessness. We are not put here on earth to wait for heaven as a compensation for all the failings of this world.
And yet, as with most things, there is a balance to be observed. Some become so intensely involved in a particular cause that they become consumed by it. They let their indignation become smouldering anger, let their passion become hatred. They become perpetual critics, angry crusaders.
Of course there is such a thing as righteous anger. That sort of anger can lead to positive change. But as our text states, human anger is often not righteous. It does not advance the rule of God because a bitter or critical spirit has taken over. Anything good in life is relegated to the sidelines as the main game of shaming and criticism takes place.
Sadly, some crusading for an essentially good cause is driven by deep personal frustrations and disappointments not necessarily linked to that cause. Such people need some targets, some enemies, in order to let out their thwarted passions.
How important it is to both passionately oppose what is bad and passionately embrace what is good. How important it is to see things from God’s viewpoint not just our own often highly politicised viewpoint. How important it is to be known more for what we warmly support than for what we so vehemently oppose.