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“I find nothing that promotes work better than angry fervor. For when I wish to compose, write, pray and preach well, I must be angry. It refreshes my entire system, my mind is sharpened, and all unpleasant thoughts and depression fade away.”
In one respect, Luther had a valid point. Writing, and I'd imagine preaching, needs passion to give it energy. I recall Sister Nicholas, my favorite English professor in college, once commenting that people tend to use heightened language in the midst of heated arguments. I'm not sure such always holds true (it seems to me that angry people often degenerate into vulgarity), but perhaps she saw the same sort of principle that Luther saw. The passion of anger can produce great artistry.
Additionally, my "angry" posts attract the highest volume of readers. Even though some of you then deluge the comments section with rebukes (and I deserve those rebukes, for the most part), my rants apparently draw you more than any other type of post. You'll each need to ask the Lord to examine your hearts individually to show you why you gravitate to the posts that display my rage, and He might exonerate some of you. But consider the point that giving attention to posts of that nature can, and sometimes does, tempt me to write more posts venting my anger for the sole purpose of building my readership. Please be aware that giving so much attention to such posts may cause me to stumble.
Yet, the Lord ultimately holds me responsible for both my anger and my blog. Whether my anger fuels better writing or not, His Word condemns all but righteous indignation. And if I'm honest before Him, knowing that He has full authority to judge the thoughts and attitudes of my heart, I have no choice other than to admit that my anger can rarely be categorized as "righteous." Long-time readers of this blog can attest to this fact.
I began writing this post before supper last night. Interestingly, during my Quiet Time today, as I read Colossians 3, the Lord used verse 8 to counter Martin Luther's assertion that writing (as well as composing, praying or preaching) requires anger.
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. ~~Colossians 3:8 (ESV)
I thought of Old Testament men "putting away" their wives in divorce, and wrote in my notes that the Lord wants me, instead of "using" my anger to produce more dramatic writing, to divorce myself from it. Luther's righteous anger brought about the Reformation, certainly, and praise God for that! But I must not take advantage of his quote (which may or may not have been his attempt to justify his continued anger) as an excuse to hang on to anger in my life.
My blog posts may be less impassioned without anger, and less people may read what I write. I understand both concepts. But may God grant me His grace to divorce my anger, even at the expense of my blog's popularity, so that my writing will honor and reflect Him.