Posted by: morgan1965 | March 23, 2010

Anger and Danger

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, among other things, addresses the matter of the old life and the new life. Paul advocated the merits and the joy of experiencing new life in Jesus Christ. He was so determined about new life in Christ that he outlined rules for the new life.

Consider this statement: “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil” [Ephesians 4:26-27]. Paul goes on to elaborate on anger in a later verse. “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice” [Ephesians 4:31].

Paul realized that anger is a kind of poison that permeates the angry person and negatively affects the one who is the object of another person’s anger.

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “anger is just one letter short of danger.” That statement surely will arrest the attention of people who are striving to live the new life in Christ.

What is anger? Anger, of course, is an emotion that is freighted with negativity. Anger is an emotion that has physical effects, such as an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and higher levels of adrenaline. Often, one can see an external expression of anger in facial expressions and body language. It can be a very unpleasant experience to be in the presence of an angry person. The problem is that an angry person can lose control of his/her temper and engage in activities that constitute danger.

What is danger? Danger is a matter of risk. Danger is the threat of adverse events.
For example, when a person drops a lighted cigarette in a dry forest, this creates a situation fraught with danger. The danger is that the cigarette might ignite the dry vegetation and underbrush, creating a forest fire. A forest fire would be a danger to animal life and to any nearby housing.

Eleanor Roosevelt is right in observing that when we express anger, we are close to danger, just one letter short. So, the scripture is correct in admonishing the Christians not to allow their anger to transgress into the arena of sin. A key to averting the sin in the aftermath of anger is not to allow one’s anger to fester, even for a night.

What do you do with anger? Put it away from you. In other words, don’t go there. The more useful approach in life is to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you” [Ephesians 4:32]. This practice is especially important in church life, community life and family life.

Warning: “Anger is just one letter short of danger.”

Think about it!

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