I'M MAD AND I DON'T CARE!
SUBTITLED: UNCONTROLLED ANGER
By: Norm Rasmussen
Really upset and hurt? Maybe upset with God even?
The following poem is written by: Michael H. Imhof. It is taken from his devotional book: Walking With God. You can read more of his poems on our Daily Devotional. The editorial thoughts that follow are those of the Director of Precious Testimonies.
Anger is not necessarily sin.
Uncontrolled it is sinful and can cause devastation.
Controlled it can be used for good,
and diverted to zeal while avoiding transgression.
The Bible says a fool loses his temper,
but a wise man holds it back.
An angry man will stir up strife,
with quite a knack.
Uncontrolled anger is to be put away,
for it will show deeds of the flesh.
Uncontrolled anger counteracts peace,
and with it will not mesh.
Uncontrolled anger shatters relationships,
and can lead to frustration and depression.
Peace must be sought after bouts of uncontrolled anger,
to preclude unreconciliation.
A believer given to uncontrolled anger demonstrates,
that he is in fact out of control,
and that he is focusing on things passing in time,
while playing a foolish and sinful role.
A believer thus shows that he is reacting,
and that his rights are not yielded to Christ.
He is defending himself,
which can place him in a selfish light.
Uncontrolled anger must be confronted,
it must not be excused.
It is sin and not pleasing to God,
and will cause one to ultimately lose.
Confess it as sin,
and renew your mind as you put on the new man.
Don't let emotions or feelings activate your responses,
and learn to think in the ways of God as you take your stand.
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Editorial Note: Many things stir in my spirit over the above Devotional and I feel to share some of my thoughts on the matter, in hopes that it might help someone. Wise counselors have stated that conservatively, upwards of 75% of the core reason why people are locked up in prison is because of unresolved anger ... usually starting way back in their childhood. Unresolved anger triggers resentment; resentment will ultimately trigger bitterness if left unresolved. Bitterness will then almost always transform itself into some form of rebellion or other. "Other" can mean rage and destruction of unimaginable proportions.
Children rebel against their parents usually because of one or more times where they have become angry at their parent/s, and it is left unresolved. Marriages often come apart because unresolved anger in either one and usually both people in the marriage does not get resolved, when infidelity is not involved (I realize spousal abuse, pornography and other issues can also be reasons and possible grounds for divorce. No condemnation or guilt trips here, okay?).
God tells us from the Word that everytime we allow anger to control us -- over-react to it -- leave it unresolved ... we most likely will be giving the devil the legal right to influence us (as in ATTACK; DEVOUR) in one way or another if we are not careful. Where is this found in God's Word? Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV):
Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.
In context, God is especially addressing married couples in the above scripture.
When Jesus made the statement that if we don't forgive those we are angry at - forgive those who have hurt us (even though they may have sinned against us, such as in adultery and/or fornication, which of course are grounds for a divorce even though forgiveness has been executed ... as I understand God's Word on the matter) - we are extremely vulnerable in letting anger inside us go unresolved toward that person and/or situation. Wise men and women of God have learned to NEVER be controlled by anger; rather, by the help of Christ, deal with it as the Holy Spirit leads us to deal with it so we do NOT allow it to adversely control and/or affect us. Sometimes we need to speak to the person who has offended us to get our anger resolved, asking their forgiveness for any part we played in the conflict, and telling them we are truly sorry. Other times the Holy Spirit will simply lead us to pray for our enemy, to kindle our anger. Some people who have offended us may be dead, or we don't know how to contact them if they are alive.
Almost always, if we truly are trying to learn how to control our anger, rather than allowing it to control US ... we need to quickly go to God and tell Him about our situation ... ask Him for guidance in the matter ... be willing to confess any wrongdoing on our part in the matter and asking His forgiveness, and then lay it at the foot of the Cross and let God handle the situation. If there is more we need to do, He'll communicate it somehow to us.
Anger left unchecked demands to be our OWN "judge" and "enforcer of our verdict," which almost always is VENGEANCE! Sometimes, rather than striking out against the one who has offended and hurt us ... we take it inside us, leading to bouts of depression and in extreme cases, it can even lead to suicide. Sickness and disease of every kind can often be traced back to suppressed bitterness, resentment, unresolved anger either toward God, others, employers, and/or situations.
Multitudes hold onto to various forms of anger toward God and don't even realize it until the Holy Spirit is allowed to help them deal with it. Satan is constantly looking for ways to get individuals angry with God in some form or fashion. The younger the better.
When we give an individual and/or situation (which may be your employer, or the government, for example) to Jesus at the foot of the Cross, (which is an act of our will to forgive someone to dissolve our anger) ... we are saying to God and to the devil that we refuse to be the "judge," and "vindicator of justice," but rather ... let THE Judge deal with the issue as He determines. God has promised in His Word that He will execute proper justice in all matters at the proper time. His time is never our time, but His time is always the RIGHT time, isn't it? (Say: "Yes!" Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ... please laugh - it helps).
I hope you pray and ponder what has been said here, if you have had problems with anger in the past and you realize how vulnerable you still are to it, if the right situation pops up. If you want a clear demonstration of how Jesus controlled His anger, when it seemed like on many occasions He had every right to defend Himself and lash out ... He always controlled His anger, rather than anger controlling Him by His over-reaction to it. It will impart great hope to you, and the courage to seek God for help in mastering anger, instead of it ever-mastering and controlling you.
Forgiving those who hurt us ... offend us - anger us - betray us ... is so important that God evidently saw it necessary to make this very sobering statement of truth and fact:
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." -- Mathew 6:14-15 NKJV
Here is a real life tragic story making recent headlines (October 2006) that demonstrates where holding onto anger can take a person:
QUARRYVILLE, Pa. - Charles Carl Roberts IV started buying supplies for a siege six days before storming the one-room Amish school. He made a checklist of what to bring. He wrote out four suicide notes.
Carrying several guns, a change of clothes, rolls of clear tape and toilet paper, Roberts planned for a long stay and possibly sexual violence. He said he was "filled with so much hate" and "unimaginable emptiness."
But his siege was shorter than he had expected. As authorities swarmed, Roberts opened fire on 10 tied-up little girls, fatally wounding five, and then killed himself.
Roberts apparently remembered molesting two relatives 20 years ago and dreamed about molesting again. Police raised the possibility that Roberts, who brought lubricating jelly with him, may have been planning to sexually assault the Amish girls.
"It's very possible that he intended to victimize these children in many ways prior to executing them and killing himself," State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller said.
Roberts, 32, left separate notes for his wife and each of his three children, who are all 6 years or younger, at their home in Bart, Miller said.
In the notes, Roberts also said he was haunted by the death of his prematurely born daughter in 1997. The baby, Elise, died 20 minutes after being delivered, Miller said.
Elise's death "changed my life forever," the milk truck driver wrote to his wife. "I haven't been the same since it affected me in a way I never felt possible. I am filled with so much hate, hate toward myself hate towards God and unimaginable emptiness it seems like every time we do something fun I think about how Elise wasn't here to share it with us and I go right back to anger."
The state police commissioner on Tuesday laid out the steps Roberts took in the days and hours leading up to his attack on the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Lancaster County, where the Amish live an 18th-century lifestyle with no automobiles and electricity.
"He certainly was very troubled, psychologically deep down, and was dealing with things that nobody else knew he was dealing with," Miller said.
During the standoff, Roberts told his wife in a cell phone call that he molested two female relatives when they were 3 to 5 years old, Miller said. Also, in the note to Marie Roberts, he said he "had dreams about doing what he did 20 years ago again," Miller said.
Police could not immediately confirm Roberts' claim that he molested relatives, and family members knew nothing of molestation in his past. Police located the two relatives and were hoping to interview them.
At the time Roberts' wife received the phone call, she was attending a meeting of a prayer group she led that prayed for the community's schoolchildren.
The crime bore some resemblance to an attack on a high school in Bailey, Colo., where a 53-year-old man took six girls hostage and sexually assaulted them before fatally shooting one girl and killing himself. That attack occurred Sept. 27, the day after Roberts began buying materials for his siege.
At least three prayer services were held Tuesday night, attracting more than 1,650 people, who observed moments of silence, sang mournful hymns and listened to Bible readings.
"Set your troubled hearts to rest," the Rev. Douglas Hileman said from the pulpit of Georgetown United Methodist Church, a short distance from the crime scene. "May we be able to forgive as God has already forgiven us."
Using a checklist that was later found in his pickup truck, Roberts brought to the school three guns, a stun gun, two knives, a pile of wood for barricading the doors, and a bag with 600 rounds of ammunition, police said. He bought several other items less than an hour before entering the school.
Roberts, who was not Amish and did not appear to have anything against the Amish, sent the boys and several adults away and bound the girls together in a line at the blackboard. One of the girls in the class was able to escape with the boys, Miller said.
A piece of lumber found in the school had 10 large eyebolts spaced about 10 inches apart, suggesting that Roberts may have planned to truss up the girls and sexually assault them, Miller said.
The girls left in the room were shot at close range shortly after police arrived, Miller said. "We're quite certain, based on what we know, that he had no intention of coming out of there alive," he said.
The victims were identified as Naomi Rose Ebersole, 7; Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12; Marian Fisher, 13; Mary Liz Miller, 8; and her sister Lena Miller, 7. Stoltzfus' sister was among the wounded.
Three other girls were in critical condition and two were in serious condition. They ranged in age from 6 to 13.
Contrasting the above story is another one that reveals how uncontrolled anger put a Christian man in prison probably for life, yet how God not only forgives murder (after a person becomes a born again Christian believer, no less!) and will restore the soul of the one who did the murdering and even use him to minister to others (because sincere repentance was executed on his part) : Stop Playing With Sin!
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If anyone has a testimony on how God has delivered them from anger, please consider sending it to us for publication on the site. Share how anger in times past brought pain in your life, to help people appreciate what God has done in you, and for you, in helping you learn to control anger. Pass along any insights God has taught you as well.
-- Norm Rasmussen, Director
A Special Message: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
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