Where do you keep your anger?
Joe Gorzynski made a serious mistake. He decided to roast a bear in his garage. In the
resulting fire, Joe lost not only the bear and the garage, but his fishing equipment, his tools and some animal heads mounted on the wall, the Ludington (Mich.) Daily News reported. Some things you just should not bring inside.
Anger is one of those things. It smolders until it ignites into a raging inferno of searing words and violent actions. As Eleanor Roosevelt noted, “anger is one letter away from danger.” It’s far too dangerous to keep close.
And yet, we do. We carry around the smoldering remains of past disputes, the ashes of hurt feelings. We even nurse the embers along to make sure they don’t go out; we dare not forget and let it die. With our bag of hurt at the ready, at the first hint of an insult, we fan the flames. And the fire explodes! Everybody close gets scorched.
In his remarkably simple explanation of what love is, God provides us some very sage insight. “Love,” he tells us, “is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Not romantic, not passionate, though it may be those things. But first and foremost, love is patient.
The word patient in this text is a translation of a compound word something like “macro-anger.” It doesn’t mean having large anger, but rather anger that is kept a great distance away. It takes a while to get to it so that everyone around is much safer.
So many marriages would be healthier if spouses kept their anger stored far away so they didn’t flare up at the first sign of trouble. So many parent-child relationships would be happier if anger was considered a combustible material and never kept on the premises. Churches would have fewer, or maybe even no, disputes if we were all far removed from our anger. Friendships would last. Even enemies would be blessed if we stopped walking around cocked and loaded with anger.
God is often described in the Bible as “slow to anger.” Fortunately, he keeps his anger stored far away so that it’s not readily summoned when we mess up. He simply asks us to do the same for others.
Where do you keep your anger? Why not put it far away today, before it ignites and burns someone. That’s what love would do.