Weekly Thought – January 19, 2021
Fred valued self-control and discipline in others. He also demonstrated what these qualities looked like for he committed much thought, prayer, and effort to growing into a man of character. He spoke of his younger years when anger often flared and his determination to “leash” it. True to his nature, he spent hours analyzing the subject and processing. This week’s thought is a peek into his thinking about anger.
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A Leash For Anger
I think of “leashing” our anger, because I don’t believe it is possible to live without anger. It is a cat with way more than nine lives. It can only be controlled. It is part of our human nature. We are angered both by others and even by ourself.
One of the dangers of anger is the misconception that two wrongs make a right when we are under its influence. We get lost in the wrong thinking about revenge, thinking getting even is possible, and maybe preferable. Have you ever tried to recognize when you drop into a “mad?” Here is one clue: when we start immediately thinking of something bad to do – then enjoying the thought of the other’s suffering we are in trouble. The idea of righteous satisfaction in retribution signifies unleashed anger.
There are two emotions we call anger: 1) mad and 2) righteous indignation( a phrase given to us by theologians). There is a significant difference. When we are angered by what angers God we are righteously indignant. There are two clearly different spirits in these emotions. Once we take our stand in righteous indignation we are to hold that position. We are to stand for the right, win or lose. The real discipline is to hold to the righteous and not slip into self-righteous.
Mad anger comes from loss of personal power – not being able to force our will on the situation. The desire to get even with those who hurt us is present, especially when we feel stopped in our ability to get even. Mad anger retaliates “I’m not going to take it!” When someone insults us, talks down, or does something spiteful we get mad and seek revenge. But scripture is crystal clear: “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. I will repay.” We have trouble waiting for Him. This is when I need a check. The more I want to take matters into my own hands, the more I know I am vengeful and not waiting for God.
We are told “don’t let the sun go down on our wrath (or mad anger). It is an acid which burns in the night. We are to purge it before we sleep and not let it settle into the value structure of our subconscious, When we do this we can start each day with refreshed souls. The rancor of yesterday has not festered overnight.
To keep this from happening means we take the offensive in settling the conflict. Though we are mad, we should never be so mad we cut off communication with another person. He/she is still a person for whom Christ died, as am I. I am to be willing to forgive, forget, and hope that he is, too. I will even make the first approach, if necessary. With our anger leashed, we can control it. Self-control gives us freedom, maturity, and joy.
This week consider carefully: 1) How strong is my leash on anger? 2) What causes me to get mad? 3) When do I successfully recognize the difference between mad and righteous indignation?
Words of Wisdom: “We are to stand for the right, win or lose. The real discipline is to hold to the righteous and not slip into self-righteous.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26 NET Bible)