By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
I was preaching in a revival February 28 – March 1, 2016 at First Baptist Church in Eufaula. Dr. Ken Bush has invited me every third year for the past 18 years. Jay Wolf at First Baptist in Montgomery also goes regularly. I told a church member I love going to Eufaula but was surprised that the Baptists keep inviting me back. He told me that they keep inviting a preacher back until they hear a good sermon! Guess what – they have shortened the cycle to two years (probably because of my age) and invited me back in 2018!
The church schedules noon worship services as well as evening worship services. On Monday at noon, I left my cell phone on the front seat of my car. It was a really hot day, and my cell phone was in the enclosed car in the sunlight. When I got back to my car about 1:30, I started to make a call. My cell phone didn’t respond, but a message popped up saying “Cell phone is overheated. It must cool off before it is used.”
I was surprised because I couldn’t talk on the phone or use it until it cooled down. It made me think about how we deal with life when we get overheated and become angry. We tend to talk when we are angry and overheated, and then we really get into trouble. I think I (and perhaps you) need a sign that pops up and says “Leave me alone as long as I am overheated.”
Anger is one letter short of danger! Anger is an emotion that we all have at some point. We have to be very careful how we handle our anger.When I allowed my phone to cool off and could use it, I looked at the news app. At the top of the news list was an article about a man who was killed in Union Springs as a result of “road rage.” It happened on Saturday, February 27, 2016. I drove through Union Springs en route to Eufaula on that Saturday at the time of the murder!
Danny Parker, 29 years old, was gunned down in the neighborhood by a 17-year old teenager. Parker stopped at the intersection of March Street and Hardaway Avenue to visit with some friends. The enraged driver stopped and sparked a fight. The suspect then pulled a gun and shot Parker twice, killing him.
The suspect is a senior at Bullock County High School and is charged with murder. The police asked him what started the deadly chain of events. The high school senior said he felt Danny Parker had looked at him the wrong way when he drove past him. He then followed Parker to the street where the shooting took place. When I drove through Union
Springs coming home I didn’t look at anybody!
Danny Parker’s family says they hope the case shows other drivers how anger behind the wheel can have dangerous and deadly consequences. On a Saturday afternoon in a quiet neighborhood, a young man was “overheated,” and an innocent father of three children will no longer spend a Saturday afternoon with them. Uncontrolled anger turned a beautiful Saturday afternoon into an almost unbelievable tragic situation. Anger can quickly lead to danger.
We live in an angry culture. The Super Tuesday March 1, 2016 Primary exit polls showed that almost 50% of voters in Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia are very angry at the government. Uncontrolled anger can lose ballgames, cause domestic violence, break up families, populate prisons, etc.
The Bible speaks a lot about anger. “Don’t sin by letting anger control you . . . for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Eph. 4:26-27). “Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool” (Eccl. 7:9). “A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them” (Prov. 15:18). “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness” (Prov. 14:29).
John Ed’s blog posts appear on For His Glory each week.
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