Those Seven Deadly Sins are everywhere. We are consistently at war with these enemies of God.
Lent is a great time to renew our efforts to rid ourselves of these dreaded sins. God help us!
ANGER is like a fire. Anger, like fire, can either be constructive or destructive. Fire can either warm our homes or can burn them down. Anger can either lead us to speak out against all that is wrong and un-Godly in life, or it can be used to destroy anyone and anything that we’re opposed to.
ANGER is too often a destroying force. Dr. Karl Menninger presents several reasons why we “burn” with anger.
A). When someone attacks us, or a member of our family, anger rises within us like a heated thermometer. When someone hits us, our first reaction is to hit them back, hard. Whenever we feel threatened, we become angry and we strike out at the nearest person around. We burn with anger — so kill & destroy.
B). When someone tries to take what belongs to us, we get angry. We’ve worked hard for our possessions, and no one is going to take them from us without a fight. We burn with anger — so kill & destroy.
C). Whenever our daily routine is upset, we become angry. We are truly creatures of habit; and woe to that person who disrupts our routines. We burn with anger — so Kill & destroy.
D). When another person punctures our balloon of pride, we get angry. We put on masks to show others how strong & wise & good we are. And anyone who rips off our mask is going to get clobbered. We burn with anger — so Kill & destroy.
E). When we see ourselves reflected in others, we become angry. We alone know our secret faults and fears. So, whenever we point out the faults in others, we’re really exposing our own faults and fears. Our anger burns towards those who are most like us, those who are closest to us, those who love us and care about us.
Because if we can see our faults in them, surely they can see our faults us. We can’t risk that happening! That’s why we, in anger, try to tear down those persons who are most like us. We burn with anger — so kill & destroy.
ANGER can be used constructively. There are some things in life that should make us angry. Scripture calls this “Righteous Anger.” These are some of the things that should upset us:
1). A Government that spends, often wastes, our limited resources on programs that promote dependence rather than independence.
2). A society that lifts up gross sins and immoral living as being “normal.”
3). Hatred & violence & abuse in any form.
4). Any form of prejudice; pre-judging other people simply because they are “not like us.” With any barriers that cause people to be “left out.”
5). With a society that is capable of producing more resources that we need; while too many of our citizens lack food & shelter & medical care.
6). With a world that denies its Creator, and is at war with the Source-of-Life. A world that seeks to kill & destroy the faithful followers of Christ, seeks to keep the world in darkness because their thoughts & deeds are evil.
7). With a society that seeks to repress the Truth, and to eliminate our freedoms.
Should a Christian ever be angry? Destructive anger, No! Righeous anger, Yes!
By Don Kuehle
(Dr. Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist pastor in Missouri.)