Anger

The driver of the car in front of me was attempting an impossible – and quite illegal – left turn. In the opposite lane, another driver was attempting an equally impossible- and just as illegal – U-turn. Gridlock ensued. I sat and watched the melodrama unfold in front of me.

Behind me, the driver of a pickup truck laid on his horn, apparently believing that his horn would help the two hapless drivers in front of me. I could see him gesturing wildly; I could hear his yelling through my closed windows. Suddenly, he pulled his pickup into the right lane to go around the gridlock, nearly side-swiping another car in the same predicament. He stepped on the gas, all the while screaming and making obscene gestures at everyone out of his window. At that moment, the car trying to make the U-turn entered his lane and was inches from being T-boned by the angry driver of the pickup.

It was a busy street with heavy traffic and many stoplights. I watched the pickup driver, now two cars ahead of me. For the next mile, he gestured, screamed, accelerated, and hit the brakes. We got to the end of the road at exactly the same time.

Anger is an emotional energy that arises out of frustration with circumstances beyond our control. It’s an energy without a purpose. We can’t fight, we can’t flee, we can’t do anything, but we have all this adrenaline. We pound the dashboard, we step on the accelerator, we lash out at the people around us. And we don’t get to our destination any sooner.

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back” (Proverbs 29:11).

“Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger….” (Ephesians 4:26)

“Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,  for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19)

Are you angry ? That’s fine. Be angry, There may be good reason. Or no reason at all. Acknowledge your anger, but don’t let it be your master. Don’t try to suppress it. You can’t, and anger is not sin. Don’t act on it; it will never work the righteousness of God. Don’t ignore it. Just take note of it, acknowledge it, step back from it, be dead to it. Offer it up to Christ and have Him bear it. He will use your anger for something good.

PrC

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