Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Emotions are tricky, and given our current political climate, they just got even trickier. No matter how different the opinions, the emotional currents are quite similar. We are experiencing anger, frustration, and fear. It may be towards those who are in in power, those who are different than you or those who have let you down.
We are also inspired. There are those of us who are voting for the first time. We have started new causes, new organizations, and demanded more be done in our capitalist environments to take a stand towards injustice. In the midst of experiencing unfair treatment, displaced aggression, and emotional volatility, God reminds us of His love and mercy. We are blessed because we know Him, and we are His children.
Because He is our father, no matter which side of “right” you believe you may fall, Hebrews 12:14-15 instructs us to:
“Pursue peace with all people and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
Anger, frustration, and fear are normal, but they are also dangerous. Those emotions make way for bitterness, maliciousness, and disdain. Negativity grows in our hearts and minds, spreading like a virus. We then act on these emotions, sometimes with little to no thought for the future implications.
Why? Because there is a level of self-gratification we feel when we act on those emotions. In order to change our behavior, we must first admit that we like to evoke pain when we’re in pain. Our emotions lead us to want to teach people lessons, exact our definition of justice, and make people feel our pain. Secretly we hope that in the process, we remove some of our own. The challenge with this method is that it doesn’t really work in the long run. We won’t find peace because fueling anger with anger doesn’t cancel out those emotions, it exacerbates them.
God gave us guidance in Romans 12:19 to manage through these times. He encourages us to “not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” In other words, find something to replace your anger with that helps you to “overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) God has the vengeance part covered. We can count on Him to manage our situations. In the meantime, He directs us to put our energy towards doing good and finding peace. Meeting wrong with right isn’t just about helping others, it helps to heal us too.
We are all on a journey – politically, personally, and professionally. There will be ups and downs; our current political climate has reminded us of this in ways we thought weren’t possible. There are situations we agree with, and others we don’t. That doesn’t give us the excuse to act out of fear and hatred. Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
If anything, now is the time to be courageous and act out of love. So “strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13) If there were ever a time to press pause and seek God before we act, remind yourself, that now is that time.Print This Devotional