Horn blasting, I turned to look at the car that pulled beside me at the curbside pickup just in time to see a woman shooting a vulgar gesture at me and angrily yelling. Supposing her outburst was misdirected, I returned her gesture with the love sign. That didn’t go well or as I intended. She repeated the gesture which led me to realize she might not know that my hand gesture was the sign for love. Rolling down my window, I offered, “This is the sign for love,” hoping she would also see she had the wrong person. Seeming to be more inflamed, her outburst continued. “You filthy _ _ _ _. You _ _ _ _ ” I had never been called those words and wasn’t completely sure I knew what one of them meant. Bewildered and wondering if she had a gun in the car, I offered, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I have no idea who the lady was. All I know is that I didn’t see a child in her car for which I was thankful. Driving home, I was also hoping that perhaps she had gotten her anger out on me rather than whoever she would be around next. Not only was the encounter disturbing, it was enlightening as I thought about the anger swelling in our land, about how a peaceful gathering could result in people dying.
Wrong Perceptions Wrong Accusations
Between the cursing and hand gestures, the woman had yelled, “You cut off that old man!” So, she was angry not because of anything I had done to her. Her rage was over what she thought I had done to someone else. We could almost say she was “righteously” angry. Angry for a good cause. However, that’s not the case. She wrongly perceived a situation. Apparently, she had been in the car behind me and seen me turn into the pick up lane. What she hadn’t seen was the man motioning for me to turn ahead of him because he was waiting for a spot where someone was pulling out. The woman had absolutely no reason to be angry with me. She didn’t know me. She didn’t know the “old man.” She didn’t know what he had communicated to me. But she took it upon herself to assume she knew, berate me, curse at me, and shoot me her hand gestures. I’m glad she didn’t have anything else she could shoot.
I mentioned that although I was disturbed by the situation, it was also enlightening. Why? I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The look on her face. The flow of angry words. Her physical gestures. It was like she was about to erupt. Well, I guess she did erupt. But where did her volcanic anger originate? Obviously, it was already in her, whether on the surface because of perhaps something recent that had happened. Or, was her anger deep seated? I’m not a psychologist so I won’t pretend to know. But I do know that there seems to be a lot of that kind of anger in our land right now. Anger that results in regret.
Angry Mob Mentality or Prayer Mentality
No doubt, you have been disturbed by the anger that is rising in our land. Anger rising in good people, godly people. Anger rising often for good reason. The Bible doesn’t say that all anger is wrong but that in our anger to not sin. (Ephesians 4:26) There is a righteous anger, evidenced by Jesus driving money changers out of the temple and calling them out. (Matthew 21:11-12)
Being a God-fearing person doesn’t mean not speaking truth. Jesus said there was no greater person that John the Baptist, and no doubt Jesus was aware than his cousin called out the Pharisees calling them a “brood of vipers.” (John 11:11, Matthew 3:4-7)
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that we are to stand aside when the father of lies speaks. Rather, Jesus models Ephesians 6:10-18 and how to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Yes, we are to show the world we are Christians by our love. Yes, as citizens of heaven, our first allegiance is and must always be to Christ the King, our Lord. But, He has placed us here as ambassadors. We are to shine forth His light. Rivers of living water are to flow from our innermost being. We cannot fulfill our God given calling if the reservoirs of our heart are filled with hate rather than love.
It is a time for mob prayer, Christian. Not a time for mob hate. Not a time for horn blasting perceived accusations, but rather a time for us to address factual wrongs. Address them in prayer to our Heavenly Father. Address them in civil conversation with friends. Address them in positions of influence as God gives us opportunities. Commit to prayer rather than angry mob mentality.
Heavenly Father, it is a difficult time in our nation and world, as You well know far better than us for You are Lord of the war raging between principalities. We call on You to embrace, comfort, and protect Your godly ones, for You to give great wisdom and discernment for how to move forward. Stop the evil. Turn our broken, sin ravaged nation to You. Use us to lead the way to salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord. Our eyes are on You. We pray not only for the sake of our nation, but for Your name and glory.