FROM THE BACK PEW – Get angry, don’t sin

Pastor Ed Brouwer dispenses wit and wisdom in his regular column to the Boundary Creek Times.

We’ve all heard the old adage ‘you are what you eat’, but have you ever stopped to think that you are really what is eating you? If healthy eating is the key to wellbeing. Then healthy thinking is the key to wholeness of mind.

Food affects all of our body cells, and by extension, every aspect of our being. Just like food what we allow our mind to dwell on affects our mood, energy levels, food cravings, thinking capacity, sex drive, sleeping habits and general health.

Just like when you feed on junk foods, stinking thinking will cause you to become low in energy, even low in brain power. It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you.

Andrew Lester, who wrote a book called Coping With Your Anger, reports that your biological response to threats includes a rise in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, tensed muscles and increased perspiration. Your body gets biologically prepared to defend yourself or try to escape. Lester reports we also have mental and emotional responses to threat. We become more alert and our mental processes sharpen as we try to figure out our next course of action. And emotionally…emotionally, we feel two things: fear and anger.

Two important aspects of anger are; what is it that motivates our anger and what we do with that anger. What do you get angry about? Is what really makes you mad when you don’t get your way, when you are not the recipient of deserved praise? Or do you most often find yourself feeling angry about the thousands of children who will die of starvation in Africa today?

Are we angry for selfish reasons or are we angry for reasons bigger than ourselves? When we get angry because we’re selfish and self-involved, that anger begins to destroy the peace in and around us. Anger can exhibit itself in an unhealthy way in our lives: either vast, far-reaching destruction, like sprayed gasoline and a lit match, or slow, corrosive destruction that can eat away holes in our hearts. Either way, we have destruction.

But healthy anger, a healthy outrage at a breaching of righteousness and justice in this world, well, that can fuel the engine of change in a way nothing else could.

Paul tells us, get angry but don’t sin. I knew taking a close look at this sin would mean more than resolving not to slam the door the next time I got mad.


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