I thought that, in this election season where emotions are running high, it might be good to note a few select quotes from C. S. Lewis on the subject of anger. In one of Lewis’s poems, not published until after his death, he states simply,
Anger’s the anaesthetic of the mind.
When anger takes over, the mind goes numb. Rational thought becomes difficult. Has that happened lately? Doesn’t anger spur all too many in their politics on both sides?
In his excellent novel, Till We Have Faces, Lewis has his character note this:
My anger protected me only for a short time; anger wearies itself out and truth comes in.
All I can say is that I hope that comes true once we have put the election behind us.
Lewis also informs us in one of his essays,
Reasonableness and amiability (both cheerful “habits” of the mind) are stronger in the end than the . . . spleen. To rail is the sad privilege of the loser.
And a loser there will be. Some of us think that no matter who wins, the nation is the loser.
Many Christians are concerned about the possibility of persecution under a new presidency. However, maybe we ought to welcome it. I’m particularly distressed by how some Christians are treating fellow believers right now over political differences. Again, I think Lewis gives us some words that might provide perspective. In a letter to correspondent Don Giovanni Calabria, he says,
I could well believe that it is God’s intention, since we have refused milder remedies, to compel us into unity, by persecution even and hardship.
Satan is without doubt nothing else than a hammer in the hand of a benevolent and severe God. For all, either willingly or unwillingly, do the will of God: Judas and Satan as tools or instruments, John and Peter as sons.
Don’t misunderstand me, please. I do think it’s important what we decide in elections, and those decisions have consequences. But let’s never lose sight of the fact that the Lord can use even a bad consequence to push us in a better direction.
If hardship and persecution come, maybe we’ll finally discover that we need to love one another.