二○一九年七月二十七日／七月二十八日 Click here for English version
Don’t Let Anger Turn into Hatred
Rev Gordon Siu
Recently, we may be saddened. We feel uneasy over scenes of conflict and attack, which could affect our sleep. Some may also get angry, which is readily felt by the people around including those dearest to them.
We may be angry in the face of injustice. Anger can trigger actions to correct unrighteousness, but it can also turn into hatred, generating vicious wishes or desires to kill. Man often respond to unrighteousness with self-righteousness without self-restraint, thinking that he is acting out of "righteous anger." But he is really immersed in hatred without knowing it. Once when the Lord Jesus travelled with His disciples, He was not welcome by Samaritan villagers because He was heading for Jerusalem. Two of the disciples suggested calling fire down from heaven to destroy the villagers who had no respect for Him (Luke 9:51-56). But Jesus turned and rebuked them, saying "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them" (Luke 9:56, NASB). The disciples thought they would be acting on behalf of God. Little did they know that they were really trying to kill or injure others out of hurt self-esteem.
We have our own verdict on issues of social injustice. But the verdict is often affected by our experience and the sort of information we receive. These may not give us the whole picture. In sadness, we take sides. When we express our view, we sometimes come across opposing views. The other party may reprimand the party we sympathize with. That is when our hurt feelings clash with others' hurt feelings. Uncontrolled anger arises like the release of flows from a dam, aggravating the damage to ourselves and to others.
The Lord Jesus on the cross was subjected to the most unjust treatment, but He was not angry. Insulted and humiliated, He still said: "They do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). He spoke for those who hurt Him and sought God's forgiveness on their behalf! The Lord has no hatred because He entrusted His life with the faithful Creator and knew that God would oversee and control His life. God keeps and oversees. The same trust in God made Him, when facing groundless arrest at Gethsemane, to tell Peter to "Put your sword back in its place…for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). Jesus did not allow evil to be repaid with evil.
We may be angry, but never let anger turn into hatred. “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). Come before God, calm down and entrust yourself to Him, knowing that God still reigns and overseas everything. It is good to have some brothers and sisters listen to you and share your grievance. However, make sure that you do not insist on the other person's agreement with your view and never vent your anger on that person. Let us listen to one another and understand one another. With one heart, let us ask the Lord to watch over this city. Let us pray that we do not fall prey to hatred, that we can really overcome evil with good, and that we will live out righteousness in what we do.