During a discussion with a friend of mine, I was confronted with both the best and worst that human emotion brings.  Rather than implicate my friend specifically, I will speak in general terms.  They were expressing the utmost anger at how injustice makes itself manifest in her world.  Now, she isn’t the type to lose her head.  She has always been an level-headed woman.  Her heart is a good one.  But, at the end of her rope, seeing injustice over and over and over, she snapped (in her own words).  She did something decidedly against her character.  She cursed and cursed… and cursed.  Out loud.  But, in a room by herself.

It’s understandable, and actually to most people an appropriate choice if they knew the situation.  I personally feel it’s justifiable.  Actually, in response to hearing the story, I felt the urge to curse repeatedly.  And I wouldn’t have resorted to being in a room alone when it happened.  For me, I would have told the people responsible for the blatant injustices to their face how I felt.  I’m not sure that I would have been restrained enough to resist cursing at them.  But, not for my friend.

Anger consumes us sometimes.  Especially anger that stems from situations that are just wrong.  When compassionate hearts grieve with the useless pain and suffering of others, it’s easy to be enraged.  Even the best of souls can meet the end of the ability to absorb that type of thing.  On behalf of my friend, I am proud of the fact that it bothers her so much.  I’m even kind of proud of how she finally let it all out. 

Yet, it’s not what we should do.  Christians shouldn’t act like that.  We’re held to a higher standard.  For it’s not just being angry at someone, but Christ says that it is the equivalent of murdering someone.

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” — Matthew 5:21-22

 But you know, I learned something from my friend’s reaction.  Where I would have been okay with her response, she showed me a side of a person that I think I should be.  A heart so passionate to be overwhelmed by injustice, is also the same passionate heart that is upset at the regrettable explosion.  She was guilty at her being a woman that she wasn’t supposed to be.  Most of society wouldn’t have a problem with a couple of expletives and caustic remarks. 

Her heart is one that is owned by a higher purpose.  I feel a little fallen and convicted at her response.  To be grieved in her soul about a momentary outburst, one that most people would consider justified and righteous, is a mark of a heart and character forged by a true relationship with God.  I believe it would be considered righteousness, and I’m honoured to be able to see such an example from someone I respected already… but now I respect ever so much more.  Not for the outburst of righteous anger, but for the righteous response.

And… for letting me see both sides of the same heart.