Tuesday, September 11, 2012

(Un)holy Anger, or the Sin of Wishing Death

I'm sure this has happened to you at some point. You are listening to the news, reading a book, watching a movie and the announcer, writer or actor says something that genuinely pisses you off.

Not in the sense of momentarily annoyed. Or the feelings of personal offense.


The kind of thing that strikes you as a human being, and shocks you into an anger-induced stupor. I imagine it is like a wife coming home to find her husband locked in an affair. Just that instantaneous cosmic personal shift of everything falling apart.

And instead of pity, or remorse, you want to avenge yourself. You want payback. You want vindication. You want to take out your fury on whatever object is near to you. For me, it was my favorite book being thrown across the room to land on my desk, knocking everything over.

Which didn't help.

I won't get into specifics of the situation, but needless to say I couldn't sleep after, and it roasted away in my thoughts for the next 48 hours. I then thought something that nearly broke my heart in an entirely different way.

It would've been better if that person has never been born.

I wished that.

And the feelings almost instantly changed. The situation became flipped, and I pondered how life would be better or worse without this person ever existing. I wondered about his wife, his kids, his job, the people he could bring to Jesus, the car he drove, the way he voted and how he would've fulfilled some place in God's kingdom.

And I stopped.

And I almost cried. To wish death or nonexistence on another human being was something far more heinous than the worst thing I have ever done. And I've done some stupid things.

Of course I prayed and asked for forgiveness and asked God to bless this person.

But the scar remained. I pitied the man for what he had said, and forgave him as best I could for what he said that offended me. But I still was the one who lost it. I was the one that wanted him to be forever gone. And I'll have to answer for that some day. And I hope he forgive me.

Everything seems to change when you step back at look at the person you are vilifying. The man whose blood is on your hands.

Maybe that's the reason the Roman was able to pause and say, "Ἀληθῶς υἱὸς θεοῦ ἦν οὗτος."

Forgive my attempted Greek. 

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