Weekly Thought – October 1, 2019
Fred admitted an intentional effort to handle anger. He spoke of bridling bad temper and diverting the energy into a positive, productive direction. He helped many honestly confront their struggles.
Fred’s son and namesake has a new book titled Where The Light Divides. This “collection of essays on the life of faith” allows the reader to glimpse life through his eyes. It is now available on Amazon.com
Thank you for praying as the work continues. Please lift up our Christian colleges and universities. They stand strong in the midst of cultural disturbances and turmoil.
A Leash for Anger
I say a leash for I don’t believe it is possible to live without anger. Anger is a cat which far exceeds its nine lives. It can only be controlled. Just the presence of human beings assumes the reality of anger.
Anger can be dangerous when we begin thinking “two wrongs make a right.” Slipping into the thought that we can get even is foolishness. It is easy to recognize a “mad” in ourselves and others when ideas of retribution arise. Our litany of bad wishes even draws God into the mix by wishing lightning would strike!
I believe there are two emotions we label anger: 1) mad and 2) righteous indignation. The difference is crucial. The spirit which generates the emotion differs. Mad is self-centered and comes from the loss of personal power and the inability to force our will. Righteous indignation is being angry with what makes God angry. The desired outcome of one is retaliation; the other is willingness to stand even to martyrdom for the glory and honor of God.
“Mad” results from personal demeaning. For example, when someone insults, insults, assumes, or spites us. We want to fire back to defend and protect ourselves. It is all about our own ego. We seek to avenge the disdain. As Christians we know this is sin. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” But it is often hard to wait for Him. And what if He forgives and expects that from us? What if I deserved what I am getting? The more I dwell on it, the deeper I fall into the desire for revenge and “getting them back.”
Scripture tells us to “not let the sun go down on our anger.” This makes great sense. My friends at Mayo Clinic tell me anger churns up acid. Many stomach ailments occur with persistent anger. God gave us a remedy. We are to purge it before we sleep and not let it settle into the value structure of our subconscious. This way we start each new day with our souls fresh. The rancor of yesterday has not festered overnight.
I must always be the one to take the offensive in settling the matter. I must remember Christ died for the other person, as He did for me. I must maintain the spirit of forgiveness. A leash on anger is a worthy goal and an excellent exercise in spiritual maturity.
This week think about: 1) How do I handle my anger? 2) What sets me off? 3) When do I find myself getting angry?
Words of Wisdom: “We are to purge it before we sleep and not let it settle into the value structure of our subconscious.”
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)