Pat's Praise: Angst; Anger; Outrage

Pat Throckmorton

Exactly one year ago today, I shared this devotion and commentary with you.

It befits today’s social unrest in Northeastern North Carolina, specifically Pasquotank County and Elizabeth City. Like Perquimans County, where I live, we – people of all races and color – work together, play together, pray and worship together.

At the risk of using an old, worn-out cliché, we are FAMILY! When a wrong is done to one of us, it spreads to all of us.

Angst is not an ordinary, everyday word that is common to our language. The expression describes a feeling of anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity.

One who has a deep philosophical concern about the world in general or with their personal freedom could be said to be in a state of angst. Admittedly, I have that feeling quite often these days.

Staying in the Word of God will dissipate that feeling that things are unsettled. “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.” Philippians 4:6 AMP

While quarantined in our homes with orders from our governor, we understand this applies to all North Carolinians. Our neighboring state of Virginia is under the same decree.

However, the VA governor ignored this ruling and vacationed at the Outer Banks of NC during the “shelter in place” order. The NC governor flew to Tampa, Florida, to attend a fundraiser on April 27.

At any public appearance or photo, both governors have neatly cut hairstyles. I dare say, some of us sheltering in place are beginning to look like “the shaggy dog.” What an abuse of power! Don’t you think this leads the typical resident of either state to some level of anger?

A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility defines anger. This emotion arises when we feel threatened or disturbed. How it is handled determines whether it is a destructive emotion. There are countless people jobless with no means of income. A multitude of businesses will collapse. There are no funds left on credit cards. People are angry.

In his Epistle to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul said, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Ephesians 4:26 KJV. And in James 1:19-20 AMP, we read about the conduct of true religion. “Understand this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense, and to get angry. For a man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].”

This toxic environment in which we find ourselves feels hopeless at times. The stronger emotion that follows anger is one of outrage. I am not talking about recreational outrage.

“Getting mad and venting about political, religious, racial, or other topics and venting about them to the point at which it becomes a hobby. People who enjoy recreational outrage always have something they are mad about outside of their sphere of influence” is the definition of recreational outrage.

“The earth was depraved and putrid in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence (desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power).” Genesis 6:11 AMP. Applicable to today’s environment?

An act that violates accepted standards of behavior or taste, the anger, and resentment aroused by injury or insult, anger at some grave offense is a description of outrage. It may also lead to violence or brutality. Don’t allow your emotions to escalate.

Talk it out with the family if you are able. Reach out to a trusted friend. Contact your pastor, and if you don’t have one, search the web. Read your Bible, staying in prayer, and thanksgiving.

Pray with me that we can keep the outsiders out of our hometown, that strife and discontent, hatred and violence will not find their way into our presence.

Pray that level-headedness will prevail – that race-baiters will be quieted or tongue-tied.

Pray that love, kindness, and forgiveness will be the order of the day and the days to come.

A resident of Perquimans County, Pat Throckmorton can be reached at kandpthrock@gmail.com