I love reading Jon Acuff. Maybe it’s because we are of a similar age, but I totally get his humor. It’s very rarely that I read something of his that I don’t laugh – usually loudly. I recently read one of his posts on anger, and instead of laughing, I found it very profound. You can read it HERE.

One of his main points is that when you are angry, you have two options: blame others or fix it.


I don’t know about you, but there has been a lot of anger lately with the election and the aftermath of said election. To be honest, some of the anger has made me angry. (I know – kind of weird right?)

Personally, I don’t believe anger is wrong in and of itself. It’s okay to be angry – it’s what we do with that anger that can be an issue.

A few years ago, I was studying the life of Moses. I’ve always found the story in Numbers 20 to be puzzling. If you aren’t familiar, the Israelites are wandering in the wilderness and find themselves waterless. This isn’t a small problem since finding water for that many people could be challenging. However, God had ALWAYS provided, yet every time the Israelites find themselves looking at a lack, they immediately start to complain and express their desire to return to Egypt (i.e. return to bondage). Moses has had to put up with this group of people whining, complaining and in some cases, seeking to stone him for decades now. It makes my job of teaching middle schoolers seem like a cake walk in comparison.

In Numbers 20, once again the people are complaining, but this time, Moses has just experienced the loss of his sister Miriam. He is grieving and vulnerable. So, when God asks him to speak to this rock so water can come from it, Moses is too angry to speak. Instead he strikes the rock. Because of this disobedience, Moses is barred from entering the Promised Land.

Does that seem as unfair to you as it does to me?

I mean, I can find so many justifications for Moses’s disobedience. Sure, he sinned, but didn’t he have a good excuse? Who wouldn’t get angry with that bunch of whiners? Who wouldn’t have been angry with their ridiculous declarations that they were better off in Egypt where they were being worked to death? Wasn’t it better he struck the rock with his staff rather than one of the aforementioned complainers?

But here’s the deal – Moses sinned. Other people’s disobedience/behavior might have been the cause but it wasn’t an excuse. 

When I look at the aftermath of one of the weirdest election cycles in history, I have to say that Jon Acuff offers some profound answers for people on both sides of the political divide, and it echoes this lesson we see in Numbers 20.

Anger is not a sinful emotion in and of itself, but it is also not an excuse to sin.


No matter who you voted for – Trump, Hillary or neither; whatever reason you are angry – your person didn’t get in and you feel the apocalyse is at our door OR you look at all the rioting/protesting and it just seems like sour grapes –  we all still have two options: blame other people or fix it.

The thing is only one of those options leaves us feeling hopeful and empowered. (hint, it isn’t blaming others). The problem with blaming others is that it leaves us in the position of being helpless.

No matter how much you want to, you can’t change people – not their thoughts, their beliefs, their convictions or their actions. You especially can’t change those things by calling people names and telling them how to think and feel.

Instead of blaming others for the mess we find ourselves in as a country (because whether your guy won or not, nobody can deny that the divide in our country is long, deep and festering), how about instead, we do what we can to facilitate healing.

That looks like listening.

That looks like not stereotyping people who think/feel differently than you do.

That looks like being kind.

That looks like giving people the freedom to feel what they feel.

That looks like not assuming to know what’s in another person’s brain.

That looks like returning evil with good.

That looks like praying – even for the people or groups that upset or make you angry.

Instead of striking the rock in our anger, let’s allow our anger to drive us toward solutions.


Blessings, Rosanne

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