Letting Anger Pollute Us

The US was caught up in World Cup fever even more than in the past. Soccer news has become more prominent. Unfortunately, not all that news is good. A referee in Michigan was just killed when an adult player became angry with a call and “sucker-punched” him in the head.

I’m not going to weigh in on the Second Amendment arguments, which carry more emotion than logic anyway. I do watch with increasing discomfort the wish of many to want to carry guns with them wherever they go. So many of the people I know about or read about who want guns are carrying anger with them. If there is someone I definitely don’t want around me, it’s someone with anger issues carrying a weapon where once you pull the trigger, there’s no “do over”.

Politics in America today involve much anger. I’ve read about “angry white men.” But there is no monopoly on anger in the country by any one group.

The thing that disappoints me more than about anything is reading Facebook posts from self-proclaimed Christians that are full of anger and cynicism.

Let’s look into Proverbs for guidance. “One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.” (16:32)

I can remember a time in my life when anger was perhaps my controlling emotion. Then one day I had one of those experiences where you are outside of your body watching yourself in action. I thought, “How stupid.” I was maybe 13.

As Robert Burns, the Scottish poet put it (from Wikipedia):

Burns original
O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

Standard English translation
And would some Power the small gift give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!

That one experience led to a life of controlling anger. Realizing that anger is an honest emotion that can help us overcome obstacles. But uncontrolled, it is a blazing sword that severs relationships and a poison that pollutes our lives.

The antidote is the inner peace and security that comes from nowhere but God.

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