Thoughts from the Sermon on the Mount …
How many times do we deal with anger each day? We yell at other drivers on the road when they cut us off or slow us down. We may put on a casual face when insulted at work or school, but we are boiling inside.
We never know what kind of example we set. I was driving home from school one day when we were cut off by another driver. Before anyone could respond, my elementary-age daughter yelled out, “Jerk!”
But often the results of anger can be much more serious. Our words and our actions can leave a trail of devastation and broken relationships if we do not control our temper.
Anger can blindside us. I was once at a gathering when a friend had had too much to drink, and then proceeded to tell everyone that I was a liar and was always trying to insult them. How can you not get angry when you are accused without a cause?
Sometimes we can cause conflicts, even when we try to do our best. Several years ago, I started such a conflict when I confronted a close friend about a problem. He responded by not speaking to me for several months. His wife even called my family, saying that I was such a terrible person. How can you keep from getting angry when your best intentions get thrown back at you? Especially when people attack those who are close to you?
These are only minor examples of the conflicts that we often encounter through life. What do you say to those who have suffered deep hurt — even tragedy or abuse — at the hands of others?
What does Jesus say about our response? Don’t we have a right to be angry? Or are we supposed to paste on a happy face?
Jesus does talk about anger, but with an answer that is as startling today as when He first taught it!