Angry in Our Own Righteousness

"Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison." Acts 8:2-3

Thoughts for Today:

I find it interesting and not accidental that the words "Godly men" were used to describe those who mourned and buried Stephen. "Godly men" implies men who believe in our God. Saul believed in God too. But the fact that these men "mourned deeply for him" is in stark contrast to the picture we have of Saul, who is like a rabid beast -- with one purpose -- to destroy the church (dragging off to prison, out of their homes both men and women).

Gamaliel, the leader of the Sanhedrin had advised a cautious wait and see approach towards this new Christian movement (Acts 5:38-40). Saul appears to have completely disregarded these instructions. As we can see through Saul's example: too much passion for righteousness can create anger towards others with opposing views; anger can lead to errors; errors many times turn into guilt; and guilt can convert or pervert passion for righteousness into blind and compassionless persecution and/or violence. This is the cycle we see in Saul and it is a clear warning for us as well when we begin to feel angry in our own righteousness.

This same type of passion for righteousness -- turned wrong -- exists today in our country. Can you list a few examples in which a Christian's passion for a cause -- although right and just -- turned harmful or violent? When this happens we know that it is not the message of Jesus Christ or the acts of Godly men and women.

Questions to Ponder:

When you see Christians in the news involved in acts of violence, how do you think the non-believing world views such Christians? Do you think there is any just reason or cause for a violent act in the name of Jesus? If you saw a fellow Christian who you thought was on the road to violence or other persecution against a person or group -- what would you do? What is your responsibility? Do you have a passion for righteousness that is turning into anger? What do you need to do to change your approach?

Pray to God the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ - Ask, and the answers shall be given to you.

Devotion by:  The Pocket Testament League.  Image by: gruntzooki.

No comments:

Post a Comment