To most of our violence-ridden generation this is needless advice. We are not short on anger. Indeed, it is one of the problems of our day that anger is in such plentiful supply. The citizen who does not get things all his own way is apt to become very angry and to take his anger out on those with whom he is displeased. Anger provokes anger and violence flourishes.
Anger on the part of individuals is paralleled by anger at the international level. Nations large and small have a way of putting their own interests first and being angry with anyone who hinders the realization of those interests. So we are confronted with a continuing series of wars and rumors of wars. Anger and violence have become a way of life with us.
All this anger tends to polarize us. We readily identify with one of the parties or the other and, assuming the right to be angry ourselves, become selective in our anger. We are angry with the other side, rarely with our own. Some of us are very angry with the violent persons of the left and some of us are very angry with the violent persons of the right. It is rare to find anyone angry about both.
In this situation of abundant anger, Christians, curiously, are often apathetic. We make vague deprecatory noises and on the whole would like things to be different from what they are. But all too often we do not feel very deeply about the situation. We save our concern for building up our local congregations, for expanding our youth work and enlarging our giving to missionary causes.
Let me say at once that I am not opposing any of these things. On the contrary I am right behind them. But I wonder whether in our concentration on our own immediate problems we are not overlooking something of importance. It is a matter ...1
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