When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid,…. (John 19:8).
Pilate allowed fear to keep him from setting the son of God free. He feared the crowd, their anger, and their threats. He transferred power out of his hands and into the hands of an angry, unruly mob.
I was having a conversation with someone yesterday when I said, “In life, as a leader, you’re going to encounter angry people. Good leaders address, angry, toxic people, not giving in to their anger out of fear, but addressing them with love and humility. Bad leaders let angry people run the show.”
Pilate let the angry people run the show. He was afraid of them. He was afraid of the what could happen if he didn’t do what they said. Sadly, there are many in our world who oppress others with anger. I have seen it in the business world, the church and in the family system.
But why are people so angry? Because something inside of them is broken. Anger is a cover up for some kind of pain experienced in life. Therefore, as a leader, I now try to get underneath the surface of anger, to the heart that uses it to protect itself.
Jesus experienced the pain and oppression of angry people. I’m certain that if He has, then many in our world have too. Anger is something that must die if we’re truly going to love others like Christ loved us. If anger resides in our own hearts we must be willing to dig deep down, past the surface to the place in our hearts that was wounded. Only then will we experience God’s healing power.
Many people have been mistreated by anger and don’t know how to stand up for themselves, because they fear the results of what would happen if they do. Just like Pilate did.
There are a number of women and even some men in the church dealing with an angry person oppressing their life. As the church, we must support, love and surround both parties, but we should never dismiss someone who is being oppressed by anger.
I think one of our biggest problems in the church is that we treat it more like a show than a hospital for the broken. Should not the church be the place where angry people find freedom and oppressed people find love and support? For Pilate, he cared more about his own position than a person. Sadly, we do the very same, protecting our own selves instead of those who need love, care support, and help.
Lord, forgive us. We have missed the mark. We have allowed our lives to be run by fear. We have let angry people run the show. We have protected our own selves instead of the hurting. Jesus, break the bonds of fear, anger, and oppression. Show us the lonely and the hurting and set our hearts free in your love, in Jesus name, Amen.