Rage is an ugly, ugly thing. It's also very easy to find these days. A hundred examples are as good as one. Rage in this world crests and falls like a flooding torrent. Little minds contend for power and pit brother against brother in the court houses, legislatures, churches, and streets, as well as in the figurative town squares of media and technology. There is, without a doubt, right and wrong; there is a sacred responsibility to stand for the good and against evil. But there's also a natural reactive instinct inside every heart that ends the argument, and "the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice" (3 Nep. 9:3). That instinct is rage.
Few of us see ourselves as creatures of rage. We like to believe we're always on the side of righteous indignation-- that our blood only boils against that which is legitimately unjust. But there's a fine line between turning over the money changers' tables in the temple, and grinding the face of our fellow men because of reactionary anger. Jesus Christ can easily tell the difference, but we too often fall prey to the cunning of his unscrupulous opponent. When we are offended, we want to rebuke. When we are oppressed, battered, scorned by others for our beliefs, we are inclined to take revenge, return evil for evil. We feel justified. Before mankind, maybe we are. But we do not answer to mankind. In the end, nobody does.
Why does the devil laugh? Because these matters in which the children of God are so utterly mired, season after season, are so very small-minded and carnal and 'now.' "A proud man is always looking down on things and people," said C.S. Lewis. "And, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you." The devil laughs because his enemies become so entrenched in the petty things of the moment that they fail to lift their eyes and look to God. They forget why they're here. They forget to love the Lord. They forget to love one another. They 'neglect the relevant questions' in favor of what is progressive and reactionary. The devil laughs because, in a fit of 'righteous indignation,' they're losing themselves. They're filling with anger, and they are failing.