Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry; for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 ASV)
Anger is probably one of the most destructive sins that have ever been enacted by mankind. The byproduct of anger has killed people, caused sickness, started wars, destroyed marriages, lost money, driven people to insanity and a litany of other things.
Oftentimes, the root of anger can be insecurity, fear or jealousy. Most everyone seems to have a hot button, and when it is pushed it will set them off. Many times anger is manifested early on in a childâ€™s lifeâ€¦and if not dealt with could lead to a pattern of bad behavior later on in life. This may not always be the case, but it is very likely that the root of anger did not start after a person became an adult.
There is nothing quite as ugly as a person displaying their anger. It makes those around them uncomfortable and can also leave them embarrassed after they cool off.
Without the Lordâ€™s help there is no restraining force to convict us as we have outburst of anger. The convicting power of the Holy Spirit is our only hope for change. The story below is a good example of just how ugly uncontrolled anger can be.
When I was a young man growing up in East Texas I knew a couple whose names were Mary and Charlie. This couple did not have any children, so they looked at me as their part time son. They lived on top of a red clay hill in a board and batten house that was built a couple of feet off the ground. The house had never been painted and it was very old.
Even though I loved Charlieâ€”he had a temper like a baby rattlesnake.
Charlie was a good carpenter and wood worker. One day he decided to build Mary a new bed. The bed looked great, but he cut the slats (which hold up the springs and mattress) too short. Instead of taking the time to cut new slats, he and Mary slept on the bed with short slats which would fall out every night. Every time the slats would fall out Charlie would hit the floor. Mary said his customary routine was to jump up, cuss his bed, put the slats back in, get back in the bed and go back to sleep. According to Mary this went on night after night for years.
However, one night Charlie was particularly tired when he went to bed because he had a hard day at work. Mary said his patience seemed to be shorter than usual that night. Charlie went to bed and had just gotten to sleep when the slats fell out and as usual his frazzled body hit the floor.
Mary said she was totally shocked because Charlie didnâ€™t jump up off the floor as his pattern was, and start cussing his bed. He just quietly got up off the floor and headed out the back door, wearing nothing but his long handle underwear with one side of the back flap unbuttoned. He calmly walked out to the barn and picked us his ax and walked back into the house. He stopped in front of his bed, and like a wild man, all of a sudden he started cussing his bed and chipping it to pieces with the ax.
Mary stood quietly by in the corner of the room watching while Charlie did his thing. When he got through chopping his bed into stove wood, he grabbed his mattress and dragged it over to the corner of the room and went to bed. Mary lay down beside Charlie on the floor assuring him that everything was going to be all right. After a time of snorting and cussing Charlie finally fell asleep.
Charlie may have gotten some immediate relief from his escapade of rage that nightâ€”but it was short lived. When he woke up the next morning with a sore back from lying on the floor all night, and started staring at a pile of wood that used to be his bedâ€¦an enormous amount of guilt and shame came on Charlie. He had never gone this far before with his anger and he was so ashamed.
Mary said she never said a word as she got up the next morning to make Charlieâ€™s breakfast. She just gathered up some of her bedâ€”which had been chopped up the night beforeâ€”and put it in the stove and started cooking breakfast.
All of this rage happened because Charlie cut the slats too short.
Charlie and Mary have been gone for many years now. I thank God that Charlie never went that far with his temper and rage again. The Charlie story has been a constant reminder to me as to how ugly a violent temper and rage can be.
There is no doubt this story may have caused an array of emotions to many of our readers. After having read dozens of my writings, some may wonder why I would even write such a story. Others might feel angry because it reminds them of their own father or husband, or someone else they know. This story may even make others feel insecure when they are around any man with a short temper.
It is not my intent to glorify uncontrollable emotions, but rather to point out the need for God in such circumstances. Sad to say, there are far too many Mary and Charlie stories out there where tempers have turned into harmful situations for other people. Charlie only chopped up his bed, but there are those today who harm other people as a result of their rage.
My reason for writing such an article is simple. There seems to be more angry people in the world today than ever before, we need to find ways to help them. I believe all of us should make more of an effort in praying for those people and against this rage epidemic that is spreading today like a grass fire.
I pray that the lesson I learned from Charlieâ€™s story will be a continual reminder for me as to how ugly tempers can be. Lord, help all of us to practice controlling our emotions. Father we desire to walk in peace with you and our fellow man. Help us to put our emotions on the altar every morning and walk in holiness with you.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries