Ticked Off, Anger Manages Me well
March 25, 2009, 22:22
Filed under: Uncategorized

anger_managementThere have been many time I have failed to manage my anger.  Yelling at my dean was bad enough, banging my fist on his desk was way out of line.  My wife and I have had some episodes of intense fellowship.  We blame genetics.  When her fiery Italian blood is up against my stubborn Welsh bones, there is no yielding in battle.  We lived by one rule,  it had to get settled, no going to bed mad.  We were not trying to live by Eph. 4:26  BE ANGRY, AND {yet} DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,  some times it was long after dark till we ironed out our situation.

Anger has shut my brain off many times.  When the bible tells of of the battle of our new nature against our old flesh,  memories of behavior ruled by anger shouts,”Amen!” . By god’s mercy I never killed anyone, or ended up serving time.  I sure have hurt some feelings, ended a few friendships, and turned into a primitive brute on occasion.  Studying Judo for a decade was a great help in controlling my body, but my mind still flamed on occation.

At 53 I am mellower by far.  I would hope the Holy Spirit has been working on my sanctification,  a drizzle of wisdom has been added,  and some thorns in the flesh slowed down some of the instantaneous reactions that used to get me going.  I was wrong to get angry most of the time, but not always. Often it may have been a crime of degree, as in getting angry good, getting mad bad.   About 6 years ago when I was pulpit supply at what became Dayspring,  I had an occurrence of anger provoked by behavior that would have caused Luther to draw his sword.

Dayspring is on the borderline of  densely populated suburbia and the flood plain of the Susquehanna river .  we are blessed with 3.8 acres of surprising woodlands right next to river road .  One morning as I preached from the bottom of my heart imploring the Spirit of Christ to soften flint-like hearts,  my sermon, my labor of love, was drowned out by the sound of a chainsaw.  The trustee of the church has told his nephew’s friend’s neighbor that we wanted all the trees cut down and he could have the wood to burn in his fireplace.  Although at the time the grounds were deserted 167 hours a week, this Cretan thought 11:35 Sunday to be appropriate for logging at a baptist church. 

The sermon was forgotten.  The thoughts of denuding this little patch of paradise and the unmitagated gall of harvesting God’s lumber during services was more than I could take.  Eventa are a bit cloudy as i look back, but Paul Bunyon’s pick up pulled out with amazing speed for such and old vehicle. It is likely I offered to store his saw for him in a place not normally used as a garden shed.  I returned and finished the sermon, as i remember it was on forgiveness.   Oh well.

There are still some things that get me mad.  those of you following the story here about baby Jessica know that this is an issue that raises blood preasure. [update coming soon, keep praying] 
To not feed your baby, to allow a helpless infant to starve and dehydrate, this is a crime against humanity and God .  The slowness of”the system” in dealing with an issue like this,  well it just gets me angry!  Twell me, am I supposed to pray for these people?  Really?  Can I pray a good Welsh prayer,  “Father bless them with meat to eat, enough to choke on.” I guess not.

Politics gets me mad,  I have sworn off of it.  Local politics in my area where judges sold the future of young kids for filthy lucre, that gets me mad.   People misrepresenting my Jesus, that really gets me mad.   I have been blessed never to run across one of those “Jesus hates fags’ protest groups.   The thoughts of a soldiers funeral picketed by crazy people calling themselves Baptist brings thoughts of vigilante justice to mind.

Graceshaker has a post about Liam Nelson’s latest movie.  It is a revenge flick, like one of the old Chuck  Norris films.  Get Chuck mad, everyone dies. I can’t watch it.  Too  much of the old me actually wants to bring my personal justice to the world.  The better part of me knows vengeance is not mine, but His.

What lights your fuse?  Am I the only guy with dry powder in a spark filled world?   Be honest, what sets you off?   Let us all pray to be loving, and let God be the judge.  And one more question,  is it sinful to want to see some folk on judgement day and after?  I know  God does not wish to see a soul in Hell,  but I look forward to eternal Justice.    Is that a “my bad”?

13 Comments so far
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My wife was abused as a little girl from the very people that should have loved her and protected her. As an adult she still suffers from the scars of something so disgusting that a child could not emotionally process it.

I can’t count the “christians” that have told both my wife and me that we need to forgive her parents and an uncle. Child abuse of any kind “boils” my anger. You do not want to know what I would do to a first time “convicted” child molestor. Lets just say they wouldn’t be able to do it again.

“We are to rebuke a brother if he sins against us; we are to forgive him if he repents — and only if he repents. We must beware of cheapening forgiveness. . . . If a brother who has sinned against us refuses to repent, we should not forgive him. Does this startle you? It is what Jesus taught. . . . ‘Forgiveness’ includes restoration to fellowship. If we can restore to full and intimate fellowship with ourselves a sinning and unrepentant brother, we reveal not the depth of our love but its shallowness.”

Comment by Ike

stand by for follow up post…forgiveness

Comment by willohroots


I have to apologize, but I laughed at:

“Although at the time the grounds were deserted 167 hours a week, this Cretan thought 11:35 Sunday to be appropriate for logging at a baptist church.”

Although we have not had the opportunity to meet yet, I think we have very similar personalities and issues with “anger management.”

I think what really gets me mad is delayed justice. Yes, I know God knows and sees all things and God will eventually repay because He promised us He would. Almost two years ago now, my niece’s finance was murdered on the streets of Los Angeles, not too far from where I live in Orange County. My entire family was devastated. Praise God that my niece–who was widowed in her early 20’s and her two children now left fatherless–is doing well considering.

The police had finally made at least one arrest. Just this week my wife had talked with our niece who told her that the animal who committed the crime pleaded self-defense and walked away and is back on the streets! Why? Well, the moron friend that was with my niece’s finance that night and witnessed the whole thing (and ran away) refused to testify! I’m sure he’s probably got a rap sheet a mile long which is probably why.

Of course, all the verses in Proverbs about choosing friends wisely come to mind. But I’m beyond rage when I think that my niece’s finance’s justice is on hold. The animal that shot him is on the street–for now–and maybe he’ll get what’s coming to him or maybe he won’t.

Meanwhile, my niece’s children–one of which was an infant when his father was killed–will grow up without their father. Naturally, they all have a perfect, heavenly Father that is a Father to the Fatherless and a Husband to the widow.

I suppose that really I should have pity on the murderer. Unless He repents, hell-fire awaits him. Doesn’t it?

Comment by Joe

Anything that hurts those I love puts me right over the edge, and I have a razor sharp tongue that can cut through steel. It’s done more damage than I could ever do with my fists.

At least twice a day I pray for Him to put His arm around my shoulders and His hand firmly over my mouth.

Comment by Shawn W

I too, have a problem with anger and this post makes me really really mad! 😀

I guess we all deserve hell fire were it not for Jesus and His forgiveness for us.

Funny, how we can commit the same sins over and over throughout our lives and He just keeps forgiving us (70 x 700!

What a great God we have!!

Comment by theoldadam

Let’s see….the last time I got really mad…
It wasn’t just yesterday when I dropped the glass diffuser in the ceiling fixture and it shattered in a million pieces. Naw. Or just this morning when I dropped a favorite Corning Ware dish and it did the same.
Now, these kinds of things would have in the past set me off but for some reason I’ve noticed a change. I think the change has been in my attitude about ‘stuff.’
But when it comes to what’s called “righteous indignation” I’m right where you are. My wife has to see it coming to have any control at all.
All in all I think the enemy will push all the right buttons where we are the weakest. And that’s when we end up acting the stupidest.
Very practical post. Thanks.

Comment by Jerald

GRRRR!!!! Darn Computer!

Comment by Jon Spadino

My Dear New Friend,
It seems our God has seen fit to have many of His beloved children deal with the next layer of their anger. Me too. I cannot decide to write about the recent revelation I has about the Psalms and Praise, or another update about God’s current work on me. So I did this….for you….You are in my prayers my friend. The White Crocuses are next and then my Daffodils! All wild and beautiful gifts from Father, because this daughter has a black thumb! LOL. I hope these make you smile.


Comment by hopeannfaith

Really good stuff. Yep, anger and revenge a great “opportunity for growth” here too!

I have four boys, all under the age of 8. Lately, we have been struggling to contain my older two boys intense desire to “discipline” the 3 year old when he does what every 3 year old boy does…rebel and see what happens…contantly.

Though adorable in one sense, in another sense it’s deplorable…watching a 6 year old attempt to correct, and even drag into timeout, a 3 year old. After successfully hiding the chuckle, I feel I have to correct both children for equally wrong behavior.

Unlike some of you, my family has thus far been spared extreme sin. My heart goes out to those who have been victimized…at least to the extent that is possible having never been through it myself. I can imagine that in the midst of such trial, some cliche phrases of Christianity stand a greater chance of making things worse than better. Nonetheless, there are two things that I keep in my back pocket when I feel the strong urge for vengeance.

First, I relate the inadequacy of my ability to exact ultimate justice to that of my six year old’s ability to discipline my 3 year old. As individuals, we are simply not equiped, required or even allowed to exact justice. Our desires for justice are a God-given desire for Him to exact justice, not for our measure of justice. While I believe the death penalty is biblical, I do not think it is satisfying from a justice perspective. The only thing that can satisfy justice on this earth and until He comes again is forgiveness. Hard, but true.

Second, justice is coming. And, this justice is so horrific that were I to fully comprehend it, I would never wish it upon my worst enemy. This person who deserves the worst will receive far worse than I can imagine unless He turns to Christ; and, if he turns to Christ, Jesus already suffered the penalty on his behalf. Either way, whether by grace or by justice, righteousness reigns. REALLY hard, but true.

Now, can you imagine what Christ must have gone through to bear the sin of the world…the most aggregious experience you have ever heard of only being one small portion of the cup Christ had to drink? Can you imagine that He did this voluntarily? For a being that has absolutely nothing to give back and who continues to rebel in his flesh?

Neither can I. His Grace is surely amazing!

Comment by John

Will, you know many of things that get me fired up and apparently you as well.
I guess the most trouble I have is with folk who are willfully blind.
As an example when I talk about abortion to most people if at all I always want to know if we should not give the fetus (baby) the benefit of the doubt since no one can conclusively prove that he/she is not human.
some have said it doesn’t matter and others, the most infuriating, are those that draw some artificial line at viability or even the birth canal.
Makes no sense to me at all.
There are many others but this is one of my hot buttons.

Comment by Rob

Also, blog spam.

Comment by Rob

i had the blessing of spending last weekend with my mentor who lives quite a distance from me. he came down to lead a group of people ive been disciplining thru a simple church seminar. on the final night he prayed over us and gave me a blessing. in it he prayed that i might release my anger at those church leaders who hurt me.

im almost in tears typing it but hes right. my battle isnt with them. theyre just broken sinners like me.

youve read my story so you know some of the hurts ive been thru. that said ive struggled with remembering that the battle is not with flesh and blood. i want to kick in teeth and beat some people over the head with an easton. mostly preachers and deacons.

but they arent my enemies. they are men just like me. broken failures in need of jesus. and when that thot is before me my whole motivation changes. i want gods justice but i want it on the forces of evil behind the crap these people have pulled.

bc but for the grace of god…

so i hear ya. and i think theres a time for anger. im certainly not impressed with some peoples wimpy promdate jesus. but lets focus our fire on the real enemy and give em hell.

Comment by graceshaker

It has been an experience for me to hear of what you have been through. I wish it were rare, but you know better, it is not. I am filled with hope for the future of the Bride of Christ when I hear what Jeofurry’s church is doing in a similar, not identical, situation. I have gotten the boot from a church I loved, man it cuts like a Knife. So I feel ya, I pray for you, and I have faith that the God who loves Graceshaker will heal, and will leave behind a healer. No one who has not felt a pain can understand it. Good on ya, Shalom.

Comment by willohroots

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