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Children of Wrath-Children of Grace


Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath. (Eph. 2:3b


Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1753)


Resentment used to be something that folks wanted to get rid of, now they water it and put it on a windowsill, like a favorite pot planted.  Edward St. Aubyn, quoted in Age of Grievance.



Frank Bruni in Age of Grievance observes that “The American soundtrack has become a cacophony of competing complaints.  Some are righteous and others specious. Some are urgent and others frivolous (p.5)”.    Cable news and social media are certainly instruments that fan the flames of grievance, but humanity has had “anger issues” from the beginning.  Pride may be our “original sin” but blame, envy, scorn, and deadly rage follow in short order. .”  Jesus is pretty clear that to be enraged at another is to engage in a kind of killing (Matt 5:22).


Bruni at the end of the book rather surprisingly calls for the most Christian of virtues, humility. (I would also add one of the most neglected ones among Christians).  Humility is one of the underlying realities when Paul reminds the Ephesians, that they too had been dead in their sin and children of wrath just like everyone else.  Binary thinking for Christians should be personal- “I once was lost, but now I am found.”


But humility also comes to play when we accept that the radical antidote to living in and under wrath is not something that can be earned or socially engineered.  It is the gift of God’s great love and grace given to us in, through, and by Christ.   This mercy raises us up from the ways of death and gives us life.  And we are not given the gift merely for our own benefit; it is to be shared.  Paul states that we are the handiwork of God, recreated in Christ to live our lives as vessels for God’s ongoing work of redeeming the world (Ephesians 2:10).   Our ultimate answer to grievance is gratitude. 




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