The Bible on Anger


Here’s a poem I wrote in 1979 after throwing a hissy-fit, and shouting in anger at someone that I can’t even remember now. I do remember saying things I wished I hadn’t. The words hurled themselves at my targeted victim, like darts at a dart board, and I was immediately filled with regret. Since then I have worked very hard at harnassing my anger, but every once in a while, something triggers it, and off I go on a short-lived tangent. Here then is Anger:

When anger

rears its ugly head,

the spoken word

is best unsaid.

The heat of anger

spawns words of ice,

sears heart and soul

and quickly dies

to a smoldering ash

of regret.

©1979

Somehow it makes me feel better to know that even Jesus got angry on several occasions. Mark 3:5 tells us, “He looked around at them in anger, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.”

In Matthew 21:12 he overturned tables and chairs in his anger at the people using the temple as a marketplace.

In Exodus 32, God tells Moses how angry he is that the people carved out a golden calf to worship, and calls them a stiff-necked people. And then Moses gets really angry with the people and smashes the tablets God had written upon up on the mountain. There was a lot of anger going on in the Old Testament and that’s not even touching on Noah and the flood in Genesis.

And yet James, in the New Testament, cautions that everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.  (James 1:19) Oh, how I need to heed that advice sometimes!

Paul tells the Ephesians, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,… (Ephesians 4:26)

This makes good sense because to go to bed angry would not promote a good night sleep.

Ah, is it any wonder that the Bible is one of my favorite books? It is filled with such history, wisdom, poetry and yes, even a hint of anger to ease my conscience when I succumb to that dreaded emotion on occasion.

 

 

Writing Through the Rage


When stress is mismanaged it can be a catalyst for disease, disfunction and depression. There were times when I didn’t handle stress too well and it did take its toll on my health.

Chapter Thirty  –  Writing Through the Rage

I felt a wave of nausea in the pit of my stomach, and realized just how stressed I really was. I wished I could admit myself to a hospital, get a private room, and cry until there wasn’t a tear left in my body. I must write through this, I thought frantically, knowing how close I was to losing it altogether. I drove to a nearby mall, bought a notebook and pen, and sat down with the hot chocolate and tea biscuit.

As I began to write, I noticed the people strolling the mall. An elderly couple walked hand in hand, arms entwined, accentuating their togetherness. It touched my heart. Jerry hardly knew who I was anymore. A teenage boy and girl jostled each other affectionately. Their easy banter reminded me of the many times we had laughed and joked together in the comfort of our relationship. A little boy, about two years old, gave me a twinkling smile as he toddled past, his mother close behind. Jerry and I had raised separate families, but enjoyed the thrill of watching our many grandchildren meld into our lives over the years. Three times I smiled at what I saw, and that was good. I realized in that moment that I always managed to smile through my tears and heartache that was God……

The Lord is my shepherd…he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1,3)

Tomorrow  –  Minding God’s Own Business  –  A Lesson in Service

Seventy Times Seven


There are times in life when bitterness and anger towards others can actally make us sick, spoil our zest for living, and slowly steal our happiness, like a thief in the night. It happened to me a long time ago. I found the antidote in forgiveness.

 

Chapter Seventeen  –  Seventy Times Seven

The anger I carried inside was making me sick. It felt like a grapefruit-size growth taking up precious space in my body, threatening to annihilate me, and it was directed at my husband. We had recently separated, and it was not amicable. Bill’s verbal abusiveness and alcohol dependence had taken its toll on our twenty-one year marriage.

One day, my sister came to visit. She knew about the separation, but did not know the details. I had shared these with no one. Eyeing me over the rim of her coffee cup, Mary bluntly said, “Patsy, you look very unhappy.” Astute observation, I thought…..

“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”  (Matthew 18:21,22)

 

Tomorrow   –  The Mustard Seed Gift Shop  –  A Lesson in Entrepreneurship andFailure