Today there were more riots in Athens, with a lot of very angry people getting even angrier, at police who will also get angry.
Tomorrow there will be strikes in the UK as public sector workers protest about changes to their pensions. Many of them are angry. Many people think they are wrong in what they say, and that they are wrong to strike. No doubt, many of them will get angry too.
Whatever the cause, people often get angry for it.
I get angry too, but generally at much smaller things than austerity measures or pension cuts. A few moments ago, I had a phone call: a young girl apparently from Craig & Wylie, whoever they are, doing a survey in my area, this is not a sales call, honest. Except I know it is and I only have to say one wrong word and the salesman will be at my door in a jiffy, ready to measure up the windows, the bathroom and the kitchen. Your driveway is a bit of a mess too, if you don’t mind me saying so, sir, but luckily I can help you out there….
Yes, I believe that the phone call is a lie, dreamed up by a slightly crooked salesman trying to get round the protection I have under the Telephone Preference Service, which I use to avoid sales calls. Generally I get pretty angry at these calls, and either give them the run-around or just get rude.
Like I say, a much smaller thing, but the problem is that the anger can be just as big, and just as harmful. The sad thing is that it isn’t just harmful to the people I get angry with, it’s harmful to me too. It just spoils my day. Even worse than that, it is harmful to a very important cause.
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. (Phil 2:14-16, NLT)
No complaining? No arguing? How am I going to get angry if I can’t complain? How can I stay angry if I don’t argue?
We live in a very angry world. But it is a world where people are looking for a little light relief. If we can live clean, innocent lives as children of God, we will be that light.
William Barclay once said, “A saint is someone whose life makes it easier to believe in God.”
How does my life, your life, measure up to that?