How might we mistake anger for zeal?
My good bloggin' buddy Mike Erich asks this entitled question in a recent post. Check it out here. Mike quotes Gregory the Great and asks us how we can avoid mistaking anger for zeal. Here is my take on these questions.
First I think that it is good to remember that it is okay to be angry. Things like injustice should cause us to be angry. It is also okay to be passionate or zealous about the things that we are involved in. The problem comes when our anger or zeal is distracted from issues and directed at people. When we do that we dilute the impact of our passions.
History is rife with examples of how religious people misdirected their anger and zeal away from important things and turned them on people who they called heretics. History also informs us of how zealous anger over political ideologies has separated families and countries. In so many instances we ceded success because of misdirected zeal.
In contrast I offer to you the example of the American Civil Rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. When I think about Dr Martin Luther King, Jr I see how passion and zeal can change an entire culture when it is done right. Dr King gave us all a shining example of one who was angry about injustice but never lost his love and passion for people.
That is my response to Mike's question. How might you respond?