Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cursed Anger

Have you ever been so angry at a service provider that you refuse the service to spite them and end up spiting yourself? Asherel and I met Arvo for lunch at a fun food court near his work. He and Asherel got quick and easy Chinese food. I sadly wanted the greek salad at the little Greek place in the food court. After waiting ten minutes in line and then twenty minutes for my food, I noticed Arvo and Asherel in the distance chatting and chowing down. They had at first waited for me, but their food was getting cold. Finally, I went to the counter and asked how long my salad would be. They hadn't even started making it. I told them, with barely restrained fury to void the charge. Steaming, I sat down with Arvo and Asherel. I was hungry but I was not going to wait in another line. So I had denied the Greek place my $5, but I also felt like I was sinking into a coma from hunger. Who smote who on that one?

That is the way it goes quite often. We get angry and take action, and end up hurting ourselves more than the intended target. Even when the intended target deserves our ire, anger never seems to serve a noble purpose. It always seems to degenerate into harm to the angry one.

Jesus did get angry. He was often furious with the hypocritical Pharisees. He was angry at the thick headedness of the disciples. He was angry at the money changers who tried to profit at the expense of the temple devotees. Anger in and of itself is not unGodly. But somehow, it doesn't seem to work well outside of the hands of God. I get angry too easily and too often, and I clearly don't have the skill of God in controlling it or channeling it to bring about a Godly purpose. What is the antidote to anger?

What if, instead of furiously storming out of the Greek restaurant with my void slip in hand, I had said, "I see that you only have one cook. I am sure you must be terribly overwhelmed trying to feed this lunch crowd. Why don't you just save my salad for last and help those folks behind me? When you get a chance, I would love my salad, because I know how much you must desire to promote the good name of this fine establishment." That might actually cause something new to occur, in their hearts, and in mine. Maybe they would actually ask me the source of such gentleness, such compassion, such understanding. But of course, because of how I reacted, which was perfectly understandable, I was never given the opening to give the glory to God. Anger almost never seems to serve that purpose in the hands of mere humans.
More than once yesterday the admonition filled my heart, "Seek first to understand."

Genesis 49:5-7 (NIV)
“Simeon and Levi are brothers---their swords are weapons of violence. [6] Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. [7] Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel!

Isaiah 56:11 (NIV)
They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.

Psalm 37:8-9 (NIV)
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret---it leads only to evil. [9] For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

-save a dog- hollowcreekfarm.org


  1. My husband abandoned me. I have tried to be a good Christian wife and wait for him for three years. I am at the point of 'getting the point' after prayer. Thanks for prayers. Your book has inspired me and I hope that I am following God's will by filing for divorce.

    1. I am sorry to hear about your struggles. But you are doing the right thing praying and seeking God's will and comfort., in my opinion. I have found seeking concil from Godly women is also a good way to help understand best decisions. I pray His will and hope and love is clearly revealed to you.

  2. Thank you very much. Can you please also pray for peace for me? I have been told that peace cannot come in divorce, but I can't imagine that to be true if it is God's will. There are so many stories in the Bible where the action is not pleasant, but if it is God's will, there is peace after prayer and conviction. I just need that peace in order to be sure. Thank you again. And, thank you for your ministry. Your book God/Tow Truck made me laugh and cry, at times simultaneously. May God bless you and yours.