Anger

The Epidemic of Violence is Ravaging Our Nation

On March 22nd, 2014 between 7 and 10 PM, Louisville Metro Police Department received a phone call concerning disorderly behavior on the Waterfront Bridge in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Chief of Police Steve Conrad said there were a total of 17 incidents, 5 robberies, 4 assaults, and the rest criminal mischief from a mob of 200 teenagers.

The violence began when a man at the Waterfront Bridge stepped in to keep a 13 year old girl from being robbed, and the mob turned on him, badly injuring him. The teen mob was also attacking other innocent civilians on the bridge. Jean Henry said in an interview that she and her husband Jim, 61, were on the bridge with their granddaughters when they knocked down Jim and started kicking him. He kept yelling stop and they fled away. A few minutes later, the same group of teenagers passed again and started mocking the family while their granddaughters were crying.

Next, the mob of teens headed downtown and stormed a local convenience store; the Bader’s Food Mart. When they walked in, the store clerk was attempting to hold them back. The teens knocked the man on the floor and began punching him in the head several times. The suspects then took $100 worth of food in the store and left to inflict more havoc on Louisville citizens.

One woman, who was parked near the Food Mart, was assaulted by the same group of teens. They threw trash cans at her car, jumped and kicked on her car, and then punched her several times in the head in front of her kids who were passengers in that car.

Police are still trying to figure out what caused the violence and hope witnesses and information extracted from social media will bring light to this situation.

This is just one example of many that prove there is an epidemic of violence ravaging our nation. It’s happening in small towns, big cities, with young teenagers, older folks, and different ethnic groups. Sadly, violence is part of everyday life. It’s in our movies, television shows, video games. We live in a world inundated by it.

As Christians, it is time we stand up against violence and let the world know about the love, mercy, and grace found in Jesus Christ. Here are passages from the Bible that adamantly oppose violence. Meditate on these verses and please share your thoughts below.

“Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways (Prov. 3:31).”

“Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders, you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise (Isa. 60:18).”

Jesus said, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword (Matt. 26:52).”

For more information on this story, please visit http://www.whas11.com/news/local/Mayor-addresses-Saturdays-violence-at-new-conference-252261171.html

Overcoming Anger

Anger Controlls Him

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back (Prov. 29:11).” 

In the spring of 1894, Boston hosted a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles that ended in a disaster. Infielder John McGraw, also known as Little Napoleon and Muggsygot into a fist fight with the Boston third basemen. Within minutes, all the players from both teams ran out of the dugouts and joined in a free-for-all brawl. The battle royal quickly spread to the grandstands. The fighting frenzy went from bad to worse. One of the fans set fire to the stadium and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. The firefighters couldn’t contain the flames, and it spread to 107 other Boston buildings as well.

Anger is an epidemic issue. Christian counselors report that approximately 50 percent of people who get treated for problems struggle with anger. Anger can fracture communication with others, tear apart relationships, and rob the joy and health of many. It can also be self-destructive. My professor in college used to say, “Anger tastes good until you find out that what you are eating is…yourself.” How then, can we handle anger biblically?

First, it’s important to mention that anger is not always sinful. The Scripture teaches that God is a righteous judge who feels indignation, getting angry with the injustices of the world and the wickedness of man (Ps. 7:11; Mk. 3:5). Jesus, the God-Man who calls us to love our enemies, gets angry with the Jews for defiling God’s temple in Jerusalem (Jn. 2:13-18). They were turning the house of worship into a marketplace for profit. Don’t you get angry with the injustices that happen in our world today? That’s because you desire to see truth, justice, and peace reign on the Earth.

4 WAYS TO HANDLE ANGER EFFECTIVELY 

1. Count to 10 – Thomas Jefferson once said: “When angry, count to 10 before you speak; if very angry, 100. As time passes, your arousal for anger diminishes. Moreover, why you are mentally counting, meditate on Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is noble, whatever is right, what is pure, whatever is lovely, think on these things.”

2. Forgive – Even if you feel betrayed, manipulated, or wronged, forgiving a person who has provoked you to anger is an excellent way to subdue it. Scripture teaches, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Harboring anger in your heart will lead to bitterness, and bitterness will lead to a hardened heart that is hostile toward God.

3. Don’t deny that you are angry – A study in the journal Emotion conducted by Ricky Pond, a PhD student at the University of Kentucky, reported that people who admit their anger temptations are less likely to resort to aggression or violence than those who deny it. Isn’t denial always the first sign that someone has a problem? God’s word pronounces, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 Jn.1:9).”

4. Write about it – Writing or journaling the circumstances that led to your outburst of anger will help you to think through how you reacted, what you can do to change it, and prepare next time to slow down and think through how you want to respond next time when the temptation comes. The apostle Paul writes to the Ephesian church, exhorting them to not allow their anger to last until the sun goes down (Eph. 4:26). Journaling is a great tool because it forces someone to write it out, think about it, and repent from it.

CONCLUSION

If only John McGraw would have thought about his actions before he reacted abruptly, then there wouldn’t have been a fight between the teams, the fans, and over a hundred buildings destroyed by the small anatomical piece of our body that we call the tongue. James warned us that the tongue is a small part of the body, but like a tiny spark, it can set a great forest of destruction on fire. My prayer is that you allow the Holy Spirit to control your anger so that you can have victory for the Kingdom of Heaven!