Uncontrolled anger is consuming our nation. Republicans vs. Democrats. NRA vs. new gun-control legislation. President Trump vs. NFL players. One race vs. another. Anger advances; peace abates.
Even on a daily base, we see how anger can control our lives. Consider the following statistics:
- 45% of us regularly lose our temper at work.
- 64% of those working in an office have had office rage.
- 27% of nurses have been attacked at work.
- 33% of us are not on speaking terms with our neighbors.
- 1 in 20 of us has had a fight with the person living next door.
- One airline reported 1,486 significant or serious acts of air rage in a year, a 59% increase over the previous year.
- More than 80% of drivers say they have been involved in road rage incidents; 25% have committed an act of road rage themselves.
- 71% of internet users admit to having suffered net rage.
- 50% of us have reacted to computer problems by hitting our PC, hurling parts of it around, screaming or abusing our colleagues.
Granted, we should be angry over the bloody massacre that took place in Las Vegas just a few days ago. We should be angry when children are sold into sex trafficking. We should be angry when close to 1 million children are aborted each year. Righteous anger leads to godly actions of justice filtered through grace. Unrighteous anger leads to ungodly actions of injustice filtered through hate.
Martin Luther King once said, “If I wish to compose or write or pray or preach well, I must be angry. Then all the blood in my veins is stirred, and my understanding is sharpened.”
But the kind of anger we see in our nation today is anything but righteous.
If we want to stop people from killing one another, we have to start with the heart. If we want to reduce road rage, air rage, office rage, and net rage, we have to look at cause before we will ever change effect. The cause of anger leads to the effect of violence—through whatever means available. If we simply eliminate means and never deal with cause, we will lose the “war” on violence. Means will always be found to bring about the effect of wounding, hurting, and killing if the cause is left alone.
What is the cause of anger? A vacuous heart left empty of light replaced with a foreboding flood of darkness. Evil reigns in the absence of good. In order not to be controlled by anger, we must be controlled by peace, and that, my friends, only comes through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15).