by A.C. Williams
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.” Daniel 3:16-17 NLT
The world is an angry place. Have you noticed? Everybody is angry at somebody about something, and social media has equipped everyone to be an influencer, whether they are qualified or not.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for freedom of speech, but freedom is only beneficial when the culture has some concept of morality. And I fear those days are long behind us.
Frankly, I’m angry too. There’s a lot to be angry about, and while anger isn’t a sin (Ephesians 4:26), it can definitely lead to sin. Anger makes our words feel powerful, and it does make us more influential. But one thing is certain: Human anger doesn’t accomplish God’s work (James 1:20). Human anger always leads to a breakdown in some way.
So how do we live with integrity in this angry world, where we are pushed and pulled in every direction by the politically correct? How do we tell the world that we mean business if we don’t sound angry? How do we stand up against the raging tide of immorality in our culture?
I struggle with this, because I want to be a difference-maker. I want to be the one who stands in the gap. But I’m learning that without God’s power, I can’t be either of those things.
I was recently reminded of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (bless them for enduring those names), and if you haven’t read about them, you should pick up the Book of Daniel and read chapters 1 through 3.
What caught my eye specifically was Daniel 3:16. “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.”
Read that again.
In the face of a tyrant bent on forcing people to accept his politically correct ideals, these three young men respectfully declined to engage in a futile argument.
Keep reading for their reasoning. They didn’t need to defend themselves to the king or to the culture. They just needed to obey God, and they believed that God would save them. But even if He didn’t, they had already decided to stand firm on their convictions (Daniel 3:16-18).
Did they get angry? Did they rage and protest and rant on social media?
No. They simply refused to bow. It was quiet and humble, and it shook the world. Not because they were eloquent or gathered ten thousand signatures, but because they meekly obeyed God, and He did the miracle.
Too often our anger drives us to big, emotional outbursts or flashy events that draw attention to our causes. And maybe our cause is just. Maybe our anger is righteous. But will our anger change hearts? Will our fury point people to God?
There’s nothing wrong with peaceful protests. There’s nothing wrong with signing political documents. There’s nothing wrong with standing for something on social media (you may have even found this article that way). But I’ve never seen anger conquer anyone’s heart. Only God’s love can do that (John 13:35).
So what do you say? Can we release our anger? Can we forgo our natural instinct to defend ourselves? Can we quietly do what God has called us to do and let the Lord work miracles around us?
God, give us the courage to NOT defend ourselves to our politically correct culture. Empower us to point to You, the One who will save us whether we go into the fire or not.
This article brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks won’t match. She has authored eight novels, two novellas, three devotional books, and more flash fiction than you can shake a stick at. A senior partner at the award-winning Uncommon Universes Press, she is passionate about stories and the authors who write them. Learn more about her book coaching and follow her adventures online at www.amycwilliams.com.
Join the conversation: Has anger caused damage in your life?