Blowing Your Stack

"Everyone should be slow to speak
and slow to anger"
James 1:19

The emotion called "anger" is an interesting thing. In western society we say that a person was very angry by saying "He blew his stack." There are times when anger is a good emotion, and times when it can lead to committing many sins. Anger is a fuel to drive us to good or evil activity.

For example, it has driven people to commit crimes, speak hurtful words to loved ones, and other actions that the person would never think of doing when calm and thinking clearly.

I have seen people destroy their marriage, alienate their children and interrupt many other relationships just because anger fueled their tongue to say things that they never dreamed of saying under other circumstances.  Anger can control our wills so that we choose a course of action that leads to a lifetime of regrets.

I well recall trying to help a man who lost his family through his angry outbursts. For some 12 -14 years he never saw his wife or children. Then he heard that his daughter was to be married. He carefully chose, wrapped, and sent off a wedding present with a card inside expressing his love and best wishes. The daughter returned it unopened.

The father's anger expressed toward the daughter when he was raising her helped create and fuel her anger toward him now that she was a bride. His expression of love was spurned. For the first time in all the years I knew him, he openly wept.

Anger is like a live rattlesnake. It must be handled with great care. Yet the venom that can cause death has medical benefits when used in the proper doses. Diluted snake venom can help heart and stroke patients, for example.

Seek to use anger for good purposes as our Lord did when angry in the presence of death, John 11:33, 38. There Jesus raised the dead. We cannot raise the dead but we can be energized by the death scene to serve the needs of those who mourn.

Be slow to anger and when anger comes channel that emotional energy to constructive, not destructive ends. Anger is powerful, handle with care and those around you will be blessed.

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