Someone once said, “Bees fly thousands of miles to gather enough nectar to make a pound of honey then someone comes along and takes it from them. Maybe this is why bees have such lousy dispositions !” Anger, its the beast lurking within us all whenever our honey is swiped or things go awry in our life in some way.
In the summer of 2006 a Doberman guard dog named Barney ransacked a teddy bear museum in England. His handler, Greg West, said he went beserk shredding about one hundred bears on display. To make matters worse he destroyed “Mabel”, Elvis Presley’s teddy bear which belonged to an English aristocrat who reportedly paid $75,000 for the bear and loaned it (later to his regret) to the museum ! Naturally, once he received the call from the museum manager the man wasn’t very happy to say the least. Barney’s handler speculated that his dog went crazy either because of a “rogue scent” or a case of pure jealousy as West had been stroking the teddy bear saying what a “nice little bear” she was. I’d guess that option ! So West spent several minutes chasing Barney before he could end the carnage of stuffing flying around !
We know the command to “Be ye angry and sin not” (Eph.4:26) speaks of the kind of righteous indignation Christ displayed while cleansing the Temple but the kind most people normally experience is the “Barney” variety to which Paul adds “. . .let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” What pushes your buttons that release the kind of anger with which God is not pleased? Like Barney, is it envy over the strokes that someone else gets? Is it the frustrated outburst of things not going “your way”? Do you find yourself bristling easy and lashing out chronically? More importantly, whom do we damage when we “lose it”? Odds are something more valuable than a lifeless teddy bear !
What’s the way to handle flying off the handle? Ultimately it is found in what Paul also wrote in Ephesians, “And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (5:18). The moment we’re saved we receive the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us but that does not mean He is always in charge of us. That is our choice as God did not make us mindless robots. Each day, yea each moment, it’s imperative we yield to His control. Do you have an anger management deal? Do you know someone close to you who is struggling with needing a “spiritual depends”? (older folks will get that quicker). Its sounds so simple yet it’s so powerful — yield your heart to Him !
When we get sinfully angry its that we have chosen to not respond right to circumstances that happen not to “our” liking. That guy going 30 in a 55 mph zone and you don’t want to be late to your appointment. But reality is such instances remind us that life should not revolve around us anyway, its about God ! And the temptation to be angry is also an opportunity to stick close to God, to “abide in Christ” (Jn.15). Remember, He is the Vine we are simply the branches. We draw our strength and composure from Him and we CAN then soar above our adverse situations. Angry people are often too much ruled by their own spirit when the Holy Spirit is the Ruler Who is needed – so go out there and have GOOD day in your “museum” called life !