You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

The first time I remember my father getting angry happened on a snow-covered day in the heart of Pennsylvania. The family had gathered for some collective holiday conversation around the table one evening after dinner while the kids played in their defined space. Everyone was in good spirits until my adolescent immaturity kicked in. I didn’t get what I desired from my cousins in a childhood game so I went on a rampage. Pushing the envelope in a negative direction there was verbal commands given on how to solve the conflict from our parents as the fight raged on. After the parental guidance was ignored, the next memory consists of the word “shut up” protruding from my mouth in the direction of my father.

The world stopped turning for a moment while everything went into slow motion.  Nobody said a word. The man who looked like my father had become a raging bull charging my path. There was a brief moment that escape seemed possible but before the plan could be unfolded, my little body was in the air over his broad shoulders. Arms and legs were fairing as personal decrees of injustice echoed from my cracking voice. Before another punch or kick could be delivered, my feet hit the snow while the front door closed in my face.

I was outside… alone… in my pajamas… in the snow… with no shoes on.

My head raised in disbelief as I saw my father staring at me in displeased with my hurtful vocabulary. I banged on the door in rage screaming at the top of my lungs for revenge. My father waited for a moment, directed his eyes, and then looked into my soul while booming, “You can come back inside when you calm down.”

There is righteous anger and adolescent sinful anger. It is painfully obvious my anger was sinful while my father’s was righteous. His authority over my life dictated a response to my improper behavior.

This guy is angry…

We all get angry. It’s a part of life and a part of leadership. The question is, are we righteous in our anger or living in our sinful state of rebellion? The one thing that sets leaders apart from rebels is leaders seek righteous anger to find resolutions to improper behavior while children bang on doors begging to get in out of the cold.

You can come inside when you calm down.

What’s the last time you experienced anger in your life? Was it caused from not obtaining something personally or was it from an injustice that had a solution? It’s no fun to wake up in the cold snow realizing we personally placed ourselves that dreadful situation.

Take an evaluation today of the things that make you angry. Righteous anger has solutions if they are evaluated properly while sinful anger demands repentance. If you are focusing on yourself, repent and ask Christ to open the door to come in from the cold. If you are righteously upset, look for a solution and help from other people who are actively seeking solutions to the problem using the proper avenues.

It will set you free.



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