So I’m taking a break from going through the book of John for this post and more if I feel led to. Not because I don’t love the book but rather I feel the need to point this out. We as a nation( the United States) and plenty others have a problem, if we want to admit it or not.
“Patience is better than power, and controlling one’s temper, than capturing a city.”
Proverbs 16:32Hcsb Bible.
As a kid, I would read or hear this verse and it kinda threw me for a loop. I would think, if I’m capturing a city that means I have power and power is good. That means I am secure in that if I can exert my will upon a city that means that I can take care of myself and will then have authority. That’s a great thing, right? According the Bible, not always.
In this case, if you have the ability to exert your will upon someone else but you can’t control yourself, there will be major consequences. This could be physically, intellectually or emotionally exerting your will upon the other person. You can do this by outsmarting them,using their feelings against them and taking advantage of them and also by physically taking control of them. In each of these cases, it can end very badly as seen in the real life situation that is happening in Minneapolis, on social media and in the houses across the world in families.
Now it’s important to see that the verse doesn’t say only to selfish anger but to also anger that stems from a very noble cause as seen in the case of defending against people getting killed unjustly. The reason for this is that because we are humans and we have a tendency to screw up, even when our anger is justified, the way we go about expressing that said anger may be the worst possible way to do it. When we express it wrongly, the effects can be devastating for more than just you. This goes for Christians and nonbelievers alike.
In the case of the riots that are happening because of George Floyd, from what I heard there was a protest that started and then turned into a riot after the police started throwing tear gas into the crowd. After that, anger fueled by the resistance of police pushed some in the crowd to loot different stores in the area for some reason or bystanders saw the opportunity in the chaos to steal stuff.
The crowd did exert their will upon that city that night and continues to cause havoc since then. Even though they now have everyone’s attention, there will still be devastating consequences for them doing that. There will be people that lose their jobs, their livelihood, maybe even their houses and lives since they won’t be able to pay for them in the future because they lost their job. Also the building are now destroyed which then brings down the property value in the area because people think that area is going to have that happen again.
Think of your sister, brother, any family or even you if you owned one of those small stores that were looted and you invested everything into it so that you can fulfill the American dream. Then these people loot it and destroy your life and you had nothing to do with what they are angry about. These are the consequences of anger not controlled. These are consequences of power not being restrained.
Even though the protest has noble causes, the uncontrolled anger made more devastation and tainted the cause. It’s still a noble cause to protest unjust killings, but the reputation for that exact one is a little tainted.
But it’s not just them that have a problem with their anger and controlling it. After the event, people are now fighting and arguing on Facebook about it. Even though most of us hate the initial act, the entire focus is now on the uncontrolled anger from the riot and not on the issue that started it all. After we disagree on how to go about it, some are throwing terrible insults and insinuations at each other and assuming both sides have terrible motives and either aren’t Christians or are heartless.
In any case, even though we are trying to convince the other person to our side, we get them angry and insult each other. This causes tension in between friends, family, fellow church members. Also this same uncontrolled anger happens between spouses but I don’t have to explain the ramifications of that issue.
So all of this uncontrolled anger starting from one town in the United States. But I don’t think it truly started there but rather the pride that we all have. We have to be right and so therefore I’m justified in my uncontrolled anger.
At the end of all of this, we need to remember to check not our privilege, not our upbringing but rather the pride that we all have and ask ourselves if we are truly controlling ourselves or trying to control others.
Are we trying to capture a city or capture ourselves? Are we trying to follow God or follow our pride?
That is all I have to really say about the matter. I hope I have given you something to think about and apply to your life. If you have any questions or disagreements, comment below or message me and I’ll respond when I can. I hope y’all are having a great day and trying to grow closer to God daily.