By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
In November 2015, a British mom and dad photographed their two kids climbing and jumping on the barnacle covered buoy that had washed up on the beach. They did not realize it was a World War II bomb. Kelly and Gareth Gravell were playing on a Welsh beach when they found the three-foot wide metal ball and their kids Erin, 6, and Ellis, 4, happily climbing over the object. A few days later a local official announced that the buoy was in fact an old military mine and called in the Royal Navy to blow it up. Garrett said about his kids,
“Oops. Thankfully they are fine and still here.”
Anger is like an inconspicuous bomb on which we allow our kids to play and sometimes play on them ourselves. Anger looks harmless at first, but it has a destructive potential if detonated. Especially dangerous are bombs and anger that have been around awhile. In his 1994 newspaper article “Wars’ lethal leftover threaten Europeans,”
Christopher Burns writes, “The bombs of World War II are still killing in Europe. They turn up – and sometimes blow up – at construction sites, in fishing nets, or on beaches fifty years after the guns fell silent. Hundreds of tons of explosives are recovered every year in France alone.”
Thirteen bombs exploded in France in 1993, killing 12 people and wounding 11. Yvon Bouvet, who heads a government team in the Champagne-Ardennes region that defuses explosives from both World War I and World War II, said “I have lost two of my colleagues.”
Unexploded bombs become more dangerous with time. With the corrosion inside, the weapon becomes more unstable, and the detonator can be exposed.The most dangerous bombs are those that appear to be something else – like a barnacle covered buoy.
Anger is most dangerous also when you don’t recognize it for what it is. But when it explodes it hurts every person near it. It can close doors of opportunity – it can impair relationships – it can cause tremendous damage.
Frederick Buechner said, “Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue at the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come . . . in many ways it’s a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”
The person who receives the greatest destruction is the one who is playing with anger. Someone said anger is an acid that does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to the vessel in which it is poured. (Tweet this)There are a lot of anger bombs lying around from the past. Don’t admire them or play with them. They can explode at any time! You better know how to deal with them. Call in the Expert – Jesus Christ – who knows what they are and how to carry your anger bombs to a safe place to detonate them.
Listen to God’s instructions: “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent” (Ps. 4:4). “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Prov. 16:32). “A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted” (Prov. 12:16). “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” (Prov. 15:1). “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls” (Prov. 25:28).
Examine carefully what you are dealing with – is it an undetonated military bomb or undetonated anger? Both can do tremendous damage.
John Ed’s blog posts appear on For His Glory each week.
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