““Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV
I am mourning this morning. Last night, people gathered for a peaceful demonstration. Hundreds of individuals, all races and religions came together to stand for the life of George Floyd. The people were united in condemnation of this wrong, this murder of an innocent man. Speakers spoke, and people stood shoulder to shoulder, to express outrage at the killing of a man by the indifference of a policeman in Minneapolis.
The police showed great respect by remaining in their headquarters. They did not menace, nor interfere. For much of the time allotted for the demonstration, there was peace.
Then the demon of anger arose.
I have been in many situations where anger has filled me. I am one with a slow burning fuse, but once the fire is ignited, I become hell on two legs. I have learned to keep my rage reigned in. Unrecognized early in life the danger of becoming consumed. In my younger days, I was a rageaholic. I remember becoming enraged and punching a two hundred pound refrigerator, moving it back two inches. I can only imagine what I would have done to someone.
Last night, the demon of anger arose and drove a small group of people to run to the police station in the hopes of causing damage, or perhaps even setting it afire. The police were ready. For anxious moments the anger built up, and after many orders to disperse, the dam broke and the pepper spray began to flow. Soon there was tear gas, and property damage, and even more anger.
Lost in the midst of all this darkness, was the remembrance of a man in Minneapolis, who died under the knee of a rogue cop. I don’t think what was occurring in Des Moines represented who he was.
Righteous anger is called for at times. Jesus demonstrated that when He toppled the tables in the temple, because the temple was being used to rob the people. Righteous anger has a purpose, it is under control. It is also very specific. Expressing anger at the local police makes little sense.
For the most part, Des Moines has a good police department. There have been situations in the past, for sure. But things are much better. The officers are well trained and deal with a wide variety of situations with professionalism. This was certainly the case last night. I am old enough to remember the “police riot” at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. The police were on the rampage. The kids who were out last night should be thankful.
As believers we are called to be righteously angry, but not to sin. We are also called to not let the sun go down on our wrath. When anger festers deep in ones life, it gives way to bitterness. That bitterness causes one to miss opportunities to make peace. Every move is predicated on getting even, of constantly maintaining a “us verses them” mentality, that has no good outcome.
We are in a time when we all need to reach toward each other and foster the ties that bind. It is not a racial issue. It is a human one. I marvel at the outpouring of heartbreak from the many of my very conservative, white, Christian brothers and sisters. They see the wrong and their hearts are open to the need for change.
It is a golden opportunity for people of faith to take the lead and become the true Body of Christ, united by the Holy Spirit. I wished I could have been there last night. I would have tried to share the love of my Savior Jesus.
Now is a time to pray. It would be great if believers came and prayed at the rally planned for today. It would be blessed to see the body of Christ, all races and colors, united in prayer. In the uniting of souls, basking in the glorious light of Jesus, sinful anger doesn’t have a chance.
The greatest solution to anger and rage is prayer. It is also the greatest solution. Salvation in Jesus Christ is the only thing that can break the stronghold of the sin of racism. This morning I did something radical. I prayed for the salvation of Derek Chauvin.
I want my God to get the ultimate victory. The saving and transformation of a wretched man, bound for hell. The greatest miracle would be to see Derek and George, shoulder to shoulder in Heaven.
I challenge you to pray for Derek. Pray that Jesus save him and give a profound spirit of repentance. Pray that his heart be changed to the Glory of God.
Pray for people meeting at E. 14 and University, today. Not far from my home. May the love of the Lord and the prayers of the Saints cast rage into the abyss.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!