Think About This: “The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts. The great characteristic of a saint is humility-Yes, all those things and other evils would have been manifested in me but for the grace of God, therefore I have no right to judge.” – Oswald Chambers
Indignation Or Reconciliation?
Posted on August 18, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?”
James 4:11-12 (NLT)
Matthew Henry once wrote, “Our lips must be governed by the law of kindness, as well as truth and justice.” That might have been true at one time but if I gotta zoom in on the present tense, ya ain’t really seeing this happen much. We’re all too busy being right in one position or another to notice that what we’re saying about the other side being wrong about one position or another might just be the very flaw within ourselves that we can’t stand.
Jesus warned us, “For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” (Matthew 7:2) The hinge point here is “the standard you use is the standard by which” so can you just imagine what the other side says about you? If it turns out that you called one of those “self-righteous Christians” maybe we could discuss that being a problem over some Jumbo Shrimp? I can guarantee that, as we dip this into the cocktail sauce I prepare, things will get tangy (I do like my hot peppers). Anyway…
13th century philosopher and Catholic priest, Thomas Aquinas, one time stated “he that is angry without cause can be in danger, but he that is angry with a cause cannot be in danger.” Having been (or might still be) an angry man at one time I can kinda see the logic in here. I’ve huffed and puffed over many-a-things that seem so outta sorts that folks around me said I had a talent for making a mountain outta a molehill. Later on in life I would find out what I really liked was the adrenaline rush I got from being angry over a whole lotta nuttin’.
But it ain’t stopping the rest of the world around me getting themselves all bound up in the social wrongs of the everyday and they aren’t being very Mahatma Gandhi about it either. Now in Secularland I would expect people to shout into a mic and camera over something they consider an injustice. Politicians do it all the time to cover up their own messes, we see activists do it even if the injustice doesn’t affect them but when Christians do it, we are viewed as being self-righteous. Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t. Hmm…
The thing for us to know when it is righteous indignation and when its us just being offended. Righteous indignation can be considered a positive thing if this type of anger is on the right side. The question is what drives the moral compass in one’s life, themselves or Jesus Christ. If you’re underestimating the feelings, emotions, and desires of others then you need to take your self-righteous indignation to The Cross and nail it there.
Don’t get it wrong either, Moses was angry and he was right to be so. How would you like to be called to climb the highest mountain to receive God’s Law and then come down from there to a party honoring a cow? Jesus was angry and He was right to be so when the very House of Prayer He entered had been turned into a den of thieves. And God the Father, well let’s just say this to be safe, “God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11) “Nough said to that point.
Even with our brethren we can come off as being the only ones who can rightly divide the truths of God’s Word. The problem with that is when we start dragging in those other theologians (who’ve been dead for a really time) into a conversation and start thinking we understand their position on dispensations, eschatology and salvation. Can’t we just rest on 1 Corinthians 15:3-4? Just askin’..
All in all, the bestest way I can think to handle all this craziest we are all knee deep in is to fall back on God’s promise in this sense. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20) The righteous thing to do is being part of the mission of reconciliation. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3