“Why must you be such an angry young man, when your future looks quite bright to me? How can there be such a sinister plan, that could hide such a lamb, such a caring young man…” Fooling Yourself, Styx
“Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes
The vow; to never be like my father. My father broke things in his anger. One door in our house had a hole in it the size of my childhood. His actions at home were often violent. Even his jokes had a vicious edge. Though I vowed, I didn’t escape. The anger was now mine. I carried it forward into adulthood.
I tried to be the nice guy. A nice guy filled with insecurity and anger. It would burst forth uninvited. Discussions became heated debates. Youthful zeal for good things had a red edge. I got physically violent with a girl I dated. Even in the bedroom my passion came with a fury.
There’s a whole lot of anger out there today. You can read it in the morning paper. Co-workers consistently complain. Like the waters of Marah their bitterness affects the camp. Angry voices and attacks abound. Peacekeepers are hard to find. Few Francis’ are out there (Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon). The waters of anger are not easily stilled.
Oh, that healing came easy! For me the possibility of peace came in with the Gospel. Then God hit me hard. The girl broke up with me. In that breaking up I began to realize I was broken. I was all about me. And the unpacking began. Years of it. And the anger slowly peeled back-onion like. I had to realize what love was. That I was often the problem.
We’re eager to be angry. We’re eager to be about self. Yet Christ left us this example; “while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross.” The long answer involves learning to love. The long answer means knowing your loved. Years in community with others that love well, introspection and hard questions. Grace; lots of grace. That's the long answer. The short answer is this, “ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”