Dan Dick has two posts this week about the ways that we revel in our indignation and anger. For some of us, anger is a right. It is something we claim is always justified and we defend as if it were a part of our body.
Have you noticed the mammoth chip some United Methodists have on their shoulder? Just mentioning it makes some people mad. I’ve received eight nasty emails since yesterday, when I posted the not-too-profound concept that anger is a choice and that no one else can offend us; we can merely choose to be offended (Loser’s Choice). Obviously, indignation is viewed as a right or a spiritual gift and not something we control. I can’t even reprint some of what has been written because it uses language not appropriate and it is in the form of personal attack. It actually gives me a chance to practice what I preach.
I am reminded of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings who fell in love with the very thing that poisoned his soul. He would die rather than part with it. And yet it was destroying him from the inside out.
The great challenge of this is that any attempt to lead people away from their precious anger is understood as an attack. It is experienced as an attempt to destroy the thing that gives meaning to their lives. I have no idea how to deal with such things.
Instead, I find myself thrown back on Scripture.