I just read “The Christian Caller” from First Christian Church in Wauseon and liked the pastor’s column so much I thought I’d pass it along. I believe Rev. Mary Jo Bray addresses current events in a thoughtful and prophetic way:
I have been trying to decide whether to give in to, or continue ignoring, this nagging feeling to write about the anger that seems so prevalent in our society today, at all levels. From something as simple as road rage, to the angry town hall meetings in the media last year to the random shootings on college campuses and in grocery store parking lots, to the governmental unrest in Egypt in recent days it seems we are quick to fight, to let tempers flare. Open, honest conversation and positive communication seem like idealistic concepts today. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Anger is only one letter short of danger.”
Everyone gets angry. It is a basic human emotion. From newborns to adults and everywhere in between, humans can express anger. But somewhere along the way, we learn to control this emotion, learn from it, manage it in a healthy way. That’s where we seem to have lost the way.
Let’s imagine that tomorrow major global problems were solved and the chasm that Americans scream across was closed. I think we’d still be a pretty angry lot. Why? Because most of our routine anger is rooted in impatience. Impatient people are inherently aggressive and inclined to harbor an ever-simmering level of frustration.
Americans have cultivated impatience. We want things NOW! We want information at our fingertips. We want to get where we are going yesterday. We want faster lines in the checkout. We hate getting behind a vehicle traveling the speed limit. Not only are we cultivating impatience, we are teaching it to our children. They are the epitome of impatience!
Proverbs 19:11 says, “People with good sense restrain their anger; the earn esteem by overlooking wrongs.” Ephesians 4:26 says, “Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.”
Let’s be conscious about our anger, and think before we speak.
Thank you, Mary Jo!