Roar! by Michael Owens
Young men face many pressures in life that can be overwhelming. When these pressures begin to get them down, they often don’t know how to react. Unfortunately, when that happens, they often lash out.
Anger is a deadly enemy that creeps in and robs us of peace. It interrupts our thought process and causes us to make bad decisions in the heat of the moment. It is vital that we get a hold of our tempers before they cause us a lot of grief and unnecessary pain.
The prison system is filled with angry young men who made bad choices in the heat of the moment. Many of these men never had a father to show them how to respond to difficult situations.
It is a known fact that a son’s first definition of manhood is set by his father. When that valuable link is missing, these sons are left to figure things out on their own.
Unfortunately, some fathers who are in the home have taught their sons to deal with problems through anger. For these young men, anger is the only example they have seen. It is not a mystery then that they perpetuate their father’s example by abusing others, both verbally and physically. It’s just like the old saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
It’s easy to look around and see many angry people. Whether it’s our friends who are constantly getting into physical altercations, our female relatives who are being physically abused by their boyfriends, fiancés or husbands, or even the young person next door who is always yelling at his parents. Anger is a poison that will kill if the right antidote is not found. The good news is that there is a cure.
The cure for anger, as well as for any problem in life, is the Word of God. The Bible has a lot to say about it. Sadly, too many young men become angry when their pride has been attacked or their egos have been bruised. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Anger can lead to destruction and ultimately cause us to fall out of fellowship with family, friends and acquaintances.
When we give in to anger, we are leaning to our own understanding and taking the matter into our own hands. We must allow God to fight our battles for us. Romans 12:19 states, “…Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Too often we find ourselves ready to “go off” on people. We say the first thing that comes to our minds instead of taking the time to think of a correct response. As a result, we say and do things that can be hard to take back once things have cooled off.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NIV) says, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” Proverbs 14:17 (NIV) also says, “A quick-tempered man does foolish things….” From these two Bible verses, we can clearly see God’s point of view about anger and people who operate in anger. Simply put, He calls them fools. According to Vines Expository Dictionary, the word fool describes a person “who lacks wisdom and who is a morally undesirable individual that despises wisdom and discipline.” Clearly, we do not want to aspire to be this type of person or to be associated with someone who has this type of personality.
Take a moment to evaluate your friends and the company you keep. Are they always angry? It’s interesting to note that the people in street gangs are always a bunch of angry young men who make bad decisions. Most of the guys I knew in street gangs when I was younger are either now dead or in jail. Anger led every one of them down a path of destruction.
When you think about all of the young men who carry guns, its amazing that it never crosses their minds that one twitch of a finger in a moment of rage can put them in prison for life or in a permanent hole in the ground.
It’s only by relying on the Word of God that you can keep anger from dominating your life. We see in Proverbs 15:18 (NIV) that a “…hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel,” while James 1:19-20 (NIV) says, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
God does not want us to take revenge for what others have done to us. If we step back and allow God to handle the situation, we open the door for Him to avenge us. He instructs us to feed our enemies when they are hungry and give them something to drink when they are thirsty. If you follow God’s way, Scripture tells us that it will be as though you heaped burning coals on his head (Romans 12:20).
We are instructed in Ephesians 4:31-32 to, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” The next time you feel yourself getting angry, pause for a minute and walk away from the situation. Take as much time as you need to calm down and contemplate a godly response. In the long run, you’ll be glad that you did!