“For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” (2 Corinthians 7:11 NKJV)
Change, just like any other experience in our lives, has various emotions tied to it. The emotions may be subtle like the feeling we get when we change into our favorite hoodie, or strong like the feelings we get when we move into a new home or city. Just as there are feelings we get after a change, there are also feelings we have before and during our change process. Typically, the stronger the feelings, the deeper our change.
When Paul writes about the changes or repentance that occurred in the church at Corinth, he identifies indignation as one of the catalysts. Indignation is the irritation we get when we feel we’ve been treated unfairly. It’s the emotion we had as kids when the teacher denied the entire class recess because one kid misbehaved. It wasn’t fair, we were upset about it, and we weren’t happy with the teacher or the student.
For some of us, we will have to become upset with our issues before we change them. We will have to become indignant with the shortcomings that easily drag us down. We may have to realize it’s unfair for our habits to hold us back from the life God planned for us. It’s unfair for our poor attitudes to keep us bound in a cloud of negativity. It’s unfair for our sins to keep us from true fellowship with God.
Indignation can be the driving force that helps us change our path and head in a new direction.