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The seven Deadly Sins are everywhere. We are constantly at war with these enemies of God! The Season of Lent is a good time to renew our efforts to overcome pride, jealousy, anger, lust, greed, gluttony and apathy!

ANGER is like a fire. Anger can be either destructive or constructive. Anger, like fire, can either warm our homes or burn them down. Everything depends on how we use it.

ANGER can be a destructive force!

Dr. Karl Menninger presents several reasons why we "burn" with anger:

l. When someone attacks us or a member of our family, anger rises in us like a thermometer. Whenever someone hits us, our first response is to hit them back. When we feel threatened, we become angry, and we strike out at everyone within our reach! Destroy! Kill!

2. When someone tries to take what rightfully belongs to us, we get angry! We've worked hard for our possessions; and no one better try to take what is ours without a fight! Destroy! Kill!

3. Whenever our daily routine is upset, we become angry! We are creatures of habit; woe to that person who disrupts our routines! Destroy! Kill!

4. When someone punctures our pride, we get really angry! We put on masks to show people how strong and wise and good we are. And anyone who rips off our masks of pride is going to get clobbered! Destroy! Kill!

5. Whenever we see ourselves in others, we become angry! We know our secret faults and fears. And when we point out those same faults and fears in others, we are actually pointing out our own faults and fears. We get angry at those who are most like us because if people see their own faults and fears, they might also see our faults and fears. We can't risk that happening, so we try to tear down the other person before they reveal our weaknesses and sins. Destroy! Kill!

ANGER can also be used constructively! There are some things in life that should make us angry! The Scriptures call this "Righteous Indignation or Righteous Anger."

We should be angry:

• With a Government that continues to spend billions of dollars for war, and only hundreds of dollars for peace;

• With a society that produces more food when we need, and yet allows people to go without food and shelter;

• With prejudice in any form; pre-judging another person simply because they are not like us;

• With any barriers that cause any person to be forgotten, or left out;

• With anger that leads to domestic and social violence;

• With selfishness and greed that have caused our current financial crisis;

• With any word or deed that makes life less-than-sacred.

Is it sinful for us to be angry?! Destructive anger, YES! Constructive anger, NO! And, Lord help us to know the difference!

Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Religion on 03/19/2020

Print Headline: Anger

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