Our anger is Evil’s greatest ally. Anger can destroy the good and the great. There is little to distinguish anger from the worst of sins.
Whether this is the post-modern, post-truth, or post-everything else age, Christians and others need to be careful. Now as in ancient times, anger is a major destroyer of lives.
Some say it is the post-Christian era. For many, it might even be the post-God times. Whatever the time we are in, anger is a risk to us all. We certainly live in dangerous times.
Looking around, we see anger, hate, and wicked ideas have a strong hold on everything. Love, peace, and faith seem out of style. Even worse is the fact many or us don’t realize something is out of order.
People seem to stumble through life. Some have no sign of a direction. Others don’t know where they have been or have any clue of where they are going. For many, only strife in life, discontented hearts, and, worst of all, anger seem the norm.
Three little dogs live with us here. For the most part, they do their doggie thing and everybody is happy. Occasionally, one of them will begin barking. Soon, the others join in. Then, even though there is no reason or cause, each will try to out-do the others.
They stake out their ground and, appear intent on killing one another. The din will go on until someone opens the door and they leave the house.
Humans behave the same way. We see countless people screaming hatred and protests. This anger may be focused at a person or group; or, as like or not, it just erupts. Our times are filled with unfocused wrath; a kind that quickly poisons everything and everyone near it.
Just as with the chain-reaction barking of my pets, human hate explodes and creates stronger reactions of the same kind. Often, there is little reason to fix a blame since everyone involved is guilty.
Our time, not God’s
Many long for peace and safety. In most western nations, we take security and peace for granted. However, we are warned, “People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them…” (1 Thes. 5:3 Contemporary English Version).
Peace and anger share dimensions besides time. They may be global or international. Or, we find them in a context of region vs. region, church vs. church, or person vs. person. Finally, there is the closest of dimensions, between God and the individual, or within the individual.
This close-to-home level is special to us. A Christian should be on watch not to let anger take control of the person or situation. An angry Christian (or anyone else) is not likely to serve God through their wrath. Jesus reserved his anger for religious officials; as he showed a kindness of heart when He asserted miracle working power against demons and illnesses.
What Jesus Said
Jesus responded to challenges and situations in a measured, careful, appropriate fashion. This is a devine example for all of us. The Saviour was specific in His instructions:
- God blesses those who make peace – Matt. 5:9
- Make peace with that person – Matt. 5:23
- May God give you peace, you are healed – Mark 5:34
- Live at peace with each other – Mark 9:50
- Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God – Luke 2:14
- I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid. – John 14:27
- But all who do right will be rewarded with glory, honor, and peace – Romans 2:10
People following Jesus Christ are also instructed about avoiding anger:
- Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry – Eph. 4:26
- I place a curse on you because of your fierce anger. – Gen 49:7
- Don’t be angry or furious. Anger can lead to sin. – Psa 37:8
- Terrible anger will get them nowhere. – Prov 22:8
- Anger is caused by cruel words. – Prov 25:23
- Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ. – Eph. 4:31-32
Scriptures from: Contemporary English Version
The world is mad
It doesn’t require much investigation to realize the world has chosen not to follow these directions. However, the world is not reading these words; you are.
We, that’s you, me, and those like us, should be on watch for spouts of anger in our hearts, mind, and souls. Like the nuclear weapons of the military, anger is powerful — perhaps too powerful to be in such unreliable hands as ours.
Anger rages in our world. But it is also rampaging in our schools, our businesses, our churches, and our hearts. We should be reminded that the most productive result (if it can be called that) of anger is one’s realization it is wrong. This should lead to expressing regrets and apologies – repentance – for such wrongful behavior and talk.
The worst result of anger is unimaginable. Suffice it to say it can, and does, sew destructions of nations, peoples, families, churches, friendships, and individuals.
Not a right, an addiction
We all know those who relish causing dissent, pain, trouble and whose greatest joy seems to be pouring out their wrath on others, whether they are guilty or innocent. A segment of humanity seems to consider their anger and hate as prized possessions; even a righteous gift.
This attitude, this misdirected energy is, not at all beneficial. No serious, thoughtful, person can deem anything that causes such pain and suffering as a right.
If we consider the full picture, we must conclude that, like so many destructive elements of modern life, this is more of an addiction. That is, an out-of-control lust or a craving to act out negative energy, regardless of who is injured.
In fact, modern therapy and judicial authorities have come to recognize Biblical wisdom. Such agencies are crafting and administering responses; including such things as counselling and anger management.
God and us
Sadly, many of these responses are never brought to bear on that level of anger that can exist towards one’s self or one’s God. We consider ourselves enlightened and wise, actually we are no better than those of Biblical times. We are pretty much left to fend for ourselves regarding our pwn inner battles. Further, it is little better for those battling with their feelings about God.
Moderns have a widespread ‘hands-off’ attitude about other people’s salvation. We hear insightful sermons and read publications on the subject. But when it comes to ‘getting our hands dirty’ with someone else’s struggles, we take a ‘not my job, man’ attitude.
Fortunately, this situation is addressed in the very first book of the Bible. In a dialog between man and God, the Creator of all asked Cain about his brother. The man’s answer to God in Gen 4:9 still rings in the voices and hearts of humanity. Really now, how can we expect God to be satisfied with our words, much less with our behavior.