Recently our vacuum cleaner broke down. We had it for 10 years. However only perhaps 10 years ago we would have gone to that shabby back street shop, just off the high street, where there would be one man in a shop jammed full of anything and everything needed for a repair and within a few days the cleaner would be brand new again.
In fact we now have TV programmes focused on the ability to repair things.
So we got rid of the vacuum cleaner and bought a new one. Which seems to be what people do with their friendships now. They don’t repair they just get rid and get a new one. Jesus taught us to go get things resolved quickly. Paul says it this way:
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, Ephesians 4:26
The Apostle has already said in your anger do not sin. Now he says on the day of anger let it also be a day of reconciliation, stop a process that is already in process.
Wherever we turn we find anger. You will see it today wherever you are in the world.
Bear with me as I tell a joke! I was undecided about it but felt it right in a devotion about anger!
A young girl who was writing a paper for school came to her father and asked: “Dad, what is the difference between anger and exasperation?”
The father replied, “It is mostly a matter of degree. Let me show you what I mean.”
With that the father went to the telephone and dialled a number at random. To the man who answered the phone, he said, “Hello, is Melvin there?”
The man answered, “There is no one living here named Melvin. Why don’t you learn to look up numbers before you dial them?”
“See,” said the father to his daughter. “That man was not a bit happy with our call. He was probably very busy with something and we annoyed him. Now watch….”
The father dialled the number again. “Hello, is Melvin there?” asked the father.
“Now look here came the heated reply. “You just called this number and I told you that there is no Melvin here! You’ve got a lot of nerve calling again.” The receiver slammed down hard.
The father turned to his daughter and said, “You see, that was anger. Now, I’ll show you what exasperation means.”
He dialled the same number and when a violent voice roared “Hello?!” in answer, the father calmly said, “Hello, this is Melvin. Have there been any calls for me?”
Back to it: the truth is you may have been hurt and it doesn’t matter the size of that hurt it can become a stumbling block to your life. It is like having stone in your shoe it can seriously damage the way you do life.
Here are some thoughts:
- The longer you stay in anger the longer time has to ruin that relationship beyond repair.
- The longer you stay in anger you say to God I don’t trust you to get the justice I deserve (so we hold out for another day after a restless night’s sleep) compared perhaps to the culprit who may not even know you are angry with them who simply trusts God who looks after the whole universe as well as their life whilst they get a restful night’s sleep.
- The longer you stay in anger the longer you look less like God who poured out his righteous anger onto Himself on the cross.
- The longer you stay in anger the less happy you are.
- The longer you stay in anger your life remains paused for longer and the less effective and productive you become for God.
We will become angry and maybe some will be angry today. But we must do all we can to keep it in the day. Life is too short to be ruined by anger.