Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)
TITLE: "What Right Do We Have?"
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His countenance is contorted, and his complexion a prism of varying shades of red, then blue, and finally purple. The veins in his forehead seem ready to erupt through the skin at any moment. You can almost hear his heart pumping at top speed in response to the adrenaline raging throughout his whole body. The emotion is anger, and the instigator is Satan. Unfortunately, the results will be as devastating to the rampager as they are to the unfortunate individuals who get in his path.
There’s no need to stand in front of a mirror to practice looking angry, it comes to us as naturally as breathing! Even a tiny baby can do a great imitation when he cries for his bottle and there is not an immediate response. But notice how quickly his rage dissipates once he tastes his first drop of milk.
A dictionary definition of anger is “strong displeasure as a result of opposition, mistreatment, etc. The seed of anger is akin to all of the other ugly seeds of sin, those of greed, selfishness, pride, hate, and envy. These emotions were present from our conception and implanted through the inherited sin nature of Adam. We nurtured those feelings of self-gratification as we matured. Those feelings also may have been nourished by overindulgent parents, wealth, good looks, intelligence or, on the other hand, by inept mothers or fathers, poverty, a plain appearance, and poor scholastic abilities?
At one end of the spectrum is the individual who seemingly has had every opportunity and success in life handed to him on a silver platter. At the opposite end, we see a person who has struggled all of his life just to keep within his eyes’ view the shadows of those racing to the finish line before him.
The individual who has always been recognized and rewarded for his appearance, his athletic or scholastic achievements, and his wealth will someday be faced with the fact that none of these assets will last forever. There’s always someone better looking, more talented or wiser, and someone who can make his wealth look trite. The day will come when it will not matter who he is or what he has, the days of getting “his way” will come to an end and pass on to another. Will he deem it his right to burn in anger over the loss of living his life in the same old self-serving ways? Will it ever occur to him that he was blessed with so much but gave so little to the guy who had almost nothing?
What about the other guy? Does he look at the rich guy and become enraged with the unfairness he sees in his life when compared to others? Will he feel justified in expressing his anger through shaking his fist at God and mankind in general? Will it occur to him there is always someone worse off than he is and that even he can give of the little he has to that other person?
These two people came from completely different backgrounds yet they both focused on their right to be angry. One man was angry for the loss of always getting his way in everything and the other for never getting to have his way in anything.
We have a myriad of excuses for becoming angry. Do we get our feathers ruffled and feel indignant when others treat us unkindly? Do we get upset when we aren’t recognized and praised for our good deeds? Are we upset when others deceitfully and untruthfully cast a shadow on our reputation to others? How many thoughts do we entertain in getting even with those who wish us harm?
Focus on Christ’s life here on earth. He was treated unkindly. He was unacknowledged as the Son of God. His miracles were credited by many as being empowered by Satan, and He was unfairly tried in a court on the testimonies of liars. Did Jesus get angry and rain down atrocities on those who stood at his feet chanting and jeering him as He hung on the cross? No, instead He looked down on those ugly, convulsive faces of anger and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
We should live to bring glory to God. A self-righteous anger brings only grief and disappointment to our Father.
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