Prioritizing Your Outrage: Passion For All The Wrong Things

If you walk by a kid who’s punching a wall, very rarely will you hear:

“I’m so angry about the poverty in Thailand!”

Instead it’s:

I didn’t get an iPhone for Christmas. Someone stepped on my new Nikes. My parents won’t let me go to Jenny’s drug party. Am I the only one who can’t go to the concert?

God made us with a righteous fiery anger to do justice in the world, but we’ve curved it inward into a selfishly suicidal sin-monster for our own ridiculous “needs.” Our emotions are broken.

But our anger turned Godward — just as He designed — could ignite a war for peace.

Where is our anger now?

Mostly we are angry over:

Broken products from Amazon.
That girl at work.
My brother, sister, parents, who we swear are holding us back.
The plot twist of that movie.
The computer when it freezes.
“Rights” that are actually privileges and not rights.
Different opinions.
Organizations like Stop Kony trying to raise awareness.
The internet.
Anything that we think can be changed by a petition — like the ending of a video game, or releasing the original Star Wars trilogy.
Facebook and Tumblr crashing.
The Starbucks barista who didn’t get the coffee right.
Loud laughter in public.
Really long lines (to buy things that have been conveniently packaged, organized, refrigerated, or discounted).
The past. Which can’t change.

Like the old saying, when we don’t get what we want, instead we get angry.

We hardly get angry over:

The family who is starving on the next block.
Human trafficking: underage girls being raped over and over, right now.
The 26,000 children who die everyday of starvation and preventable causes.
The average citizen in North Korea who must sell their dead relatives as food to survive, make soup out of tree bark, and can instantly be sent to a concentration camp the size of D.C. for “insurrection.”
The news, which is real (because movies are not).
Cutting, bullying, teen suicide — we call it “emo” or kid stuff.
Unsafe corporate guidelines for medical supplies and consumables.
The man who raped the woman, instead of the woman who “dressed provocatively.”
Infanticide in Asia.
Not sharing the Gospel — here, or to the 6,000 people groups who haven’t heard it.
Children soldiers.
Our own sin.
What God cares about.
The death of Jesus.

I know: none of us feel like we can do anything about it anyway. Which is exactly why almost no one does.

I suppose we could underestimate our power to do good, and never do it. Like most people.

Shouldn’t that make you — well, angry?

Even though anger shouldn’t be the reason nor the final motivation for action, we could funnel it to the right place. When two people argue over petty insignificant things, right outside their window is a world of devastating loss. Most of which can be aided.

Recognizing the bigger need will automatically redirect your craziness for something better.

Think of the last five times you got angry. Was it legit? Did it build or destroy? Were you mad at traffic on the road or the trafficking of humans? Were you mad at your boss or were you mad at your own pride? If you’d do anything for your friends and family, including taking a bullet, why not drop that smaller, selfish, stupid issue?

God put anger in us. Anger by itself is not wrong. He is perfectly angry; He is righteous wrath against our sin. We were made to care about what God cares about. For our desires to be His. But we’ve taken that righteous fire and we’ve perverted it for our own dumb desires.

Let’s take it back from the devil, back from our wrong motives.

Use it to shut the mouth of injustice.

Be outraged for all the right things.

Hear the sermon podcast, Prioritizing Your Outrage.

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