When To Be Indignant


February 10, 2014

When To Be Indignant ~~ Anthony B. Robinson

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not stop them…” From Mark 10:1-16

Jesus wasn’t always nice, or meek and mild. Here Jesus is indignant. “Indignation means “anger aroused by something unjust, mean, or unworthy.” I like it that Jesus got indignant, that he felt angry about things that were wrong or mean. Here Jesus was indignant with his own disciples for telling children to go away.

The psychologist Erik Erikson once cautioned, “Do not misuse one of the strongest forces in life – true indignation in the service of vital values – to justify your own small self.”

Does it sometimes seem to you that toady indignation is overused or used in the wrong causes? All sorts  of people are ticked off and “not going to take it anymore.” Someone called ours a “culture of complaint.” We complain early and often. Indignation is often put in the service of our own “small self.”

Jesus was indignant, not on his own behalf, but on behalf o others how couldn’t stand up for themselves, for children. In Expressing his indignation, Jesus buck the conventional wisdom, surprising his disciples by telling them that children could teach them a lot. On behalf of what “vital values” ought you and I to be experience and expressing true indignation?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me not to misuse our over use the strong force of indignation, but to use it sparingly and rightly in the service of truly vital values. Amen.


God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 45.