I was recently asked what advice I would give to young adults as they pursue or complete their university education. The natural assumption seems to be that young adults will play a crucial role in the shaping of our nation which celebrates her 56th birthday. I’m sure they will, as will the not-so-young adults amongst us. And so I offer the same advice to young adults as to myself and older generations. Advice that comes directly from Holy Scripture.
“Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:20 NIV)
Someone lamented that our culture seems to “turn hate into an asset”.1 Many have said that we live in “a culture of suspicion, mistrust, and us-against-them”. And in such a culture, most feel that the only way to cancel (counter) what is wrong and unjust in our world is through “bombast and bloviation”. So we express our anger through condemnatory rhetoric and unfriend-ing protests on as many social media platforms as we can find. The many “likes” that our angry and rude comments garner only spur us on.
Are we, indeed, a generation who have “turned hate into an asset”?
Do we justify passionate anger as the only way to get our way?
Lord, have mercy on us.
Help us consider the wisdom of Your Word: “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God… But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 1:20; 3:17–18)
If we hope to reap “a harvest of [God’s] righteousness”, let us try to make peace by sowing in peace.
And may the God of Peace save us from becoming a nation that “turns hate into an asset.” For “human anger does not produce the righteousness of God”.
1 John Perkins as cited in Scott Sauls, A Gentle Answer (p. xvii).
Bishop Dr Gordon Wong was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020. He served as President of the Trinity Annual Conference from 2012–2020.