Anger versus shalom
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20
Everyone wants the righteousness of God. No one desires misery. Everyone wants the right outcomes that are truly of God.
How do we get there?
Not by our angry demandingness. If our cause really is of God, he will watch over it. We can trust him for that. Our part is to be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
While we wait on God for vindication for ourselves and justice for others, there is one thing we all can actively keep doing: “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).
To reap an abundant harvest of righteousness, the really satisfying righteousness that is of God, the way forward is not to demand, to pressure, to embarrass, but to sow peace, shalom, wholeness, humaneness. Any self-invented shortcut will reap a harvest of unintended unrighteousness and unforeseen injustice, even with the best of intentions. There is only one way to the right outcomes that honor Christ and satisfy us – to trust him for the future, as we sow peace in the present.
Not that that is easy. It is extremely trying. But there is no other way. And the way of shalom works. It really does. God is in it.