Pastor Larson’s Corner: Anger management
About a year ago I was driving with a friend who showed amazing patience with a rude driver. When I commented on it, he said he had decided to never react to anyone else’s driving. Three months later this same friend was passed going up a hill by a car going sixty in a forty zone. He flashed his lights to show his displeasure. The car turned around and followed him home. Only my friend’s size and demeanor prevented a major confrontation.
We all have a tendency to get angry in the face of obnoxious, inconsiderate, or even dangerous behavior. Even Jesus was angry the day He drove the money changers out of the temple. It is thought that they were cheating people with unbalanced scales and schemes they worked out with the Priests. No wonder Jesus was angry. It is difficult to blame Him. It is also difficult to fault my friend for showing his displeasure for the dangerous behavior of a reckless driver.
Anger seems to come quite naturally to us and it often gets the best of us. In fact, that is exactly what it does—it gets the best of us. Anger management counselors say that once you get angry you have lost. Perhaps that is true. I have never had an experience where being angry has done me a lot of good. To be sure, we need to express our feelings, but doing so in anger never seems to help.
The Apostle Paul said, “Never let the sun go down on your anger.” Jesus went to His death on a Roman cross without one word spoken in anger to his captors. We may not be able to stop the feelings of anger that come upon us when we face injustice in this world. We can, however, take the advice of the Apostle Paul and never let the sun go down on our anger.
Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.
Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at email@example.com
This article originally appeared in the Nov. 28, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.