WHEN ANGER EXPLODES
A quick tempered man acts foolishly. Proverbs 14:17
Take a glass that is mostly full of water, add a little more, and it will spill over. Take a man or woman who is already full of rage, add one small incident, and their anger will also overflow. Many who erupt today over the smallest issues aren’t really reacting to the incidents at hand. They were simply filled to the brim with rage before the episode ever occurred. The ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ got all the attention because there was no more room left in their container for any more anger.
Each of us was created with a lot of elasticity in our spirit to withstand the pressures of life. Many have plenty of stretch left in their elastic in their early twenties but by the time they experience multiple injustices and disappointments, that elastic is stretched to the limit when they reach mid-life. With no more ‘give’, it’s pulled taut and it snaps easily.
What is the answer for any angry person? He must discern what it is he’s really angry about and take the initiative to deal with it. Living in perpetual rage is not fair to friends and family. Children live with an angry parent and never know when the lid is going to blow. It is usually over a gallon of milk left out on the counter or something else equally as insignificant. Husbands live with an angry wife and tiptoe around the house, not knowing what it will be that will set her off. The angry one usually holds everyone around him hostage.
Underneath the rage is a profound sense of powerlessness. Each of us longs to live in Eden, that place where people could be trusted implicitly. We strain for justice and when it seems out of reach, we don’t know what to do with our mounting frustration. Rage is the result of a compilation of offenses.
Along with years of rage comes oppression. When I stuff all my anger out of sight and just leave it be over time, it becomes an open door to the enemy. My disobedience invites his presence and a stronghold is slowly constructed. The more time sin is left unchecked, the bigger the stronghold. What began as a repression of anger over a single event escalates to have two components; my sin and the enemy’s growing access and influence. The remedy is acknowledging why the anger exists, taking ownership of my sinful response, and then repenting so that I can be cleansed and delivered. While I should be angry about the things God is angry about, I find that I can cross the line easily from righteous anger to sinful anger and I won’t even remember where the line was.
Rage hurts the one who harbors it and rage hurts the ones who live around it. God promises peace, rationality, and healing for any who will have the courage to take their wounded soul to Jesus. The ability to be long suffering is available to anyone who is courageous enough to take inventory of his own soul and submit himself to the re-parenting of God the Father.
Give someone who is reading this a willing heart to look at the hurt inside. Hold them. In Jesus’ name, Amen