Anger is a self-evident sin. It is a sin that we tend to hold on to for a very long time. It is ironic that the only single time Jesus displayed anger it was not at murders, drug addicts, prostitutes, tax collectors or thieves, but with the religious folks. Jesus “lost it” in the temple with the practices of the church. That is a sobering thought that we seem to overlook when we recall Jesus’ anger. If Pride is the most dangerous and Envy the sneakiest, then Anger is the most deadly of all sin. In the wake of all the Ferguson and now in Baltimore, we have seen the destructive effects of anger. Anger in the hands of protesters and rioters is a way of excusing them from responsibility for their actions of destruction. It can cause demolition instead of true change. However it prompted me to ask a police officer what causes them the most fear. He responded, “Anger is my greatest fear. The bloodiest crimes, the most unpredictable calls are domestic crimes of passion. When anger is the cause of a crime, things get horribly, terribly, bloody real fast.” He said he feared anger in himself because if he didn't keep saying “I’m only doing my job” and kept his emotions in check it becomes personal. He said, “The very minute I get emotionally involved, the time when I think too much about the criminal and the crime, then I am apt to do the same, some very bad things.” I must admit I respect his brutal honesty. Anger is only an emotion but it has the potential to lead to deadly acts.
I meet many people who when you strip away the layers of pain, uncertainty, or addictions are really just angry. Many are angry at a great injustice that has happened to them that was never resolved. Many are angry at God. I can understand why Jesus was angry the religious leaders because many leaders today paint a picture that we are not to be angry with God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God can handle our anger. Anger is natural and necessary response in the face of injustice. It is an acknowledgement that it is not the world as God meant it to be. Anger should be expressed, preferably in a faith community, in prayer, and in conversation with God. God can handle it. God will not punish you for it. We have a God that is good enough and great enough to receive our anger, to take raw human emotions and weave them into His purpose. Anger should be expressed but not acted upon in an unconscious manner. Anger in our hands, righteous outrage practiced by us, is a deadly thing but in the hands of God our anger can bring about significant peaceful change. Join us Sunday as we look a Anger an what we can do to give it up to God and allow real change in our life..
Peace, Love and Happiness,