(The Hulk at Markaz al Bahja Mall in Muscat, Oman. Ever feel like THAT?!) “Be angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down on your wrath.” (Ephesians 4:26)Looking at that photo I took at one of the malls here in Oman got me thinking about an interesting sermon by Jack Buteyn a while back titled “Anger Management“. Maybe like me, when you hear the title you think about the hilarious movie starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. As funny as the movie is, there is nothing funny about uncontrollable anger that reveals itself occasionally in fits of rage. As one quote from the movie says, “Temper’s the one thing you can’t get rid of by losing it“. No one thinks anger expressed in others such as wife-beaters, brawlers and lunatics is acceptable-but are we willing to look at ourselves in the mirror when it comes to matters of anger? Anger Management is a lucrative industry today. It seems that like Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We have guided missiles but misguided men“. The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart! The sinful nature of man is self-centred, wrathful and misguided. Contrary to what pop-pyschology tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) …Anyway, that was not the main point of the sermon, which is that anger, in and of itself, is NOT A SIN! Ephesians 4:26 reads, “Be angry but do not sin.” Psalm 4:4 says, “In your anger do not sin“. It is HOW you dwell on or act upon your anger that is the problem. We often, in our sinful nature, can lose control and BIG TIME! A famous Christian author, Max Lucado, hits the nail right on the head when he wrote: “Anger. It’s a peculiar yet predictable emotion. It begins as a drop of water. An irritant. A frustration. Nothing big, just an aggravation. Someone gets your parking place. Someone pulls in front of you on the freeway. A waitress is slow and you are in a hurry. The toast burns. Drops of water. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Yet, enough of these seemingly innocent drops of anger and before long you’ve got a bucket full of rage. Walking revenge. Blind bitterness. Unharnessed hatred. We trust no one and bare our teeth at anyone who gets near. We become walking time bombs that, given just the right tension and fear, could explode. Now, is that any way to live? What good has hatred ever brought? What hope has anger ever created? What problems have ever been resolved by revenge?” (Max Lucad0-“No Wonder They Call Him Savior“) (Word of Life Bookstore poster in Ruwi)
One quote mentioned during the sermon was the perhaps overly used, “Let go and let God.” In other words, “Let go of your anger/problem/situation and let God take care of the situation in His Sovereign care/justice.” Again Max explains this well here: http://maxlucado.com/email/2008/08.17.html We are called to “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19) How is YOUR “anger management” going?!