Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tame That Temper

It is no wonder that some believe anger is burning hotter in modern society than ever before.  When you consider some of the phrases which are now common place – “Domestic violence”, “Workplace Violence”, “Road Rage” “Drive-by-shooting”, among others – it seems we live in a world seething with anger.  Consider also that experts state that sixty percent of homicides investigated are committed by one family member who is angry with another family member.  And most every night the news is brimming with reports of civil unrest and mass demonstrations from all corners of the globe which often depict angry mobs rioting in the streets.  Anger that is both ungodly and unhealthy appears to permeate every level of every culture.  As a radio preacher of yesteryear once stated “No form of vice, nor worldliness, nor greed of gold, nor drunkenness itself does more to un-christianize a society than an evil temper”, and we certainly seem to be witnessing this on a global scale.  

On a more personal level, in the years God has given me the privilege to pastor I have often seen the heartbreaking after-effects left in the wake of a violent temper.  The especially tragic aspect is oft times anger of this nature is founded upon misinformation or miscommunication, and destroys what were once loving relationships.  Have you ever been angry with someone for so long that you really can’t remember why?  If we are angry with someone and cannot rationally and reasonably identify the root cause of this, that anger is wrong.  Jesus affirmed this in His sermon on the mount when He declared “Whosoever is angry with his brother without cause shall be in danger of judgment.”  At other times our anger can be misguided.  It is one thing to be angry when an injustice has been perpetrated; it is another thing altogether if our intention is to seek vengeance rather than justice.  That type of anger is clearly wrong from a Biblical perspective.

The great C.H. Spurgeon said,” I have no more right as a Christian to allow a bad temper in me than I have to allow the devil in me.” He was exactly right.  The Bible makes it clear that we are never to let the sun go down on our wrath.  Husbands and wives ought not to go to bed angry with one another.  As the comedienne Phyllis Diller once quipped “Never go to bed mad.  Stay up and fight!”
When anger takes root in the heart and becomes part and parcel of a person’s natural disposition, it will produce toxic results.  Unchecked, anger of this sort can lead to a host of problems, and can have detrimental effects on every level of an individual’s life – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  As Christians, we need to be ever vigilant from permitting anger a place in our hearts if we are intent on living as Christ’s ambassadors, for as the Apostle James warns:
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God”.

See ya Sunday!

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