Blow Torch Anger
By Rosemary Flaaten –
The flash from the blow torch came at lightening speed. Singeing the table, it turned the weathered grey to charcoal black. There was no denying the permanent scar left by the flash of intense fire.
Does your anger ever strike out like a blow torch?
All too often little injustices and irritants pile on top of each other throughout my day. The ledger in my mental accounting system seems to be added to in rapid succession. One more frustration is tallied and then it happens—the flash of anger. Once my blow torch of anger flares, there is no retraction. The person on the receiving end will not be unscathed.
Ephesians 4:26 does not instruct us to avoid anger. Rather, we are told to not sin in our anger. Blow-torch flashes of anger are sinful. They singe people’s character. They raze people’s worth. They force relational chasms. They do irreparable damage.
The Psalmist provides us with a different approach to anger. “Complain if you must, but don’t lash out. Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking. Build your case before God and wait for his verdict” (Psalm 4:4-4 TM).
Consider having a pad of sticky notes in your pocket. Every time one of your coworkers, friends or family members does something that causes you to feel indignant or hurt, write out your complaint on the sticky note. The act of chronicling your complaint will become a physical transaction that symbolizes removing the anger from your heart and mind.
But, rather than posting those complaints for review or accumulation, shred them or toss them in the trash. By destroying them, you indicate that you are handing them over to God, trusting Him to deal with that person as He chooses. Allowing God to be the final judge alleviates us from having to play that role. We can trust Him to always pronounce a fair verdict that is wrapped in love.
The warmth of God’s love will always be preferable to the fire of our blow-torch.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to be a purveyor of love and forgiveness rather than an accumulator of anger.
“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life” (Ephesians 4:26-27 TM).