Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” If I don’t change the channel fast enough, I sometimes see the beginning of a wrestling show. Two huge men wallop each other and yet miraculously come back the next week without any visible bruises or lacerations. I suspect they are not really hurt very much and the whole thing is staged. So what is the attraction? It must be that people get a vicarious thrill from seeing other people expressing their anger so vehemently and getting away with it. The wrestlers seem to spend as much time shouting threats as they spend knocking each other around, but then I only see the show’s beginning. What intrigues me is how much the audience enjoys watching men getting really mad at each other.
I have never once given in to being really angry without suffering dire consequences. Sometimes I have been able to cool down for a while and then calmly tell someone that I was angry about something that happened. That usually is a pretty effective way to resolve a problem with someone I can trust, but I have never found that anything good comes from losing my temper and screaming at someone in anger, no matter how justified I might be. For a minute or two it might feel pretty good, but the other person can’t talk to me when I’m like that so nothing gets resolved. Even worse, the other person feels hurt.
Christians cultivate self-control and refrain from giving in to the urge to say or do cruel things when we are angry. We are not even supposed to hold onto anger over night. It must be a lot easier to be a wrestler, but then wrestlers must be lonely. Jesus can’t be your best friend if you enjoy hurting people. I wonder if we could have a TV show with the prize going to the calm,
peaceful person with the most self-control? It might be dull television, but in real life, peace of
soul is the best prize there is.
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