March 14, 2023
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As an airline passenger, those video images from the Los Angeles airport that day were just plain disturbing: a human stampede, terrified passengers, fleeing from a gunman on the loose in the terminal.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Anger Monster."
These explosions of violence have happened in a theater, a mall, a school, an office, a church. The bullets may start flying any place, leaving behind lost and shattered lives. And you can be pretty sure the person pulling the trigger is an angry man. Whose anger - often hidden from those who know him, one day erupts like a volcano, destroying whatever is in its path.
My sense is that there are a lot of angry people around us these days, seething inside, sinking into a darker and more dangerous place each day. You see it surface as road rage, angry parents at their kids' games, frustrated shoppers, bullies at school and on the Internet creating anger in their victims.
Usually, behind anger is pain. Angry people feel wounded, wronged, unheard, victimized, and taking it out on whoever inadvertently pushes their buttons. Many times there are, in fact, things in their past that have left them broken inside, but never with an excuse to wound or do violence to someone else because of it.
I suppose, at one time or another, each of us is the angry person. Not on a rampage to end lives, but angry enough to inflict some serious damage on people around us. Most often the people we love the most.
Mount St. Helens in Washington used to be considerably higher until she literally blew her top in an eruption one day. The eruption didn't last long. The damage? That's there forever. Underlying a lot of our explosive moments is this full glass thing. If I pour water into a half-empty glass, it will take quite a bit to make it spill, right? But if I'm going through life with a glass that's already full, it only takes a drop to make it spill. And there are plenty of "drops" in a day's time; aggravations, conflict, and difficulties.
And with the spill comes the lashing out. Usually the violence is the verbal kind. The world's best-selling book, the Bible, describes it as "reckless words (that) pierce like a sword." See, long after the wounder has forgotten, the wounded carries the scars of that anger.
Part of the problem is that some of us were raised to stuff our emotions. We don't deal with them. That's what fills up the glass. The time bomb's going to keep ticking until we make room in that glass, which means taking a bold healing step; facing that pain that we've stuffed in our closet. It's the match that keeps lighting the fuse of the anger and leaving a trail of burn victims in our wake.
It may mean walking through the pain with a counselor. Or digging deep into spiritual resources for the most liberating step a wounded person can take - forgiving. Even seeking forgiveness from those who've been the victim of my anger.
Maybe the kids are right. There actually is a monster in the closet, a wounded monster, who needs to be dragged out into the light so the healing can begin. Ironically, it is often the "monsters" that we can't control that drive us to a greater power; someone who has repeatedly proven He can subdue the dark forces that control us. The dark side is what drives me to Jesus Christ.
When He was on earth, He encountered a man in the grip of forces so dark no one could control him. And it says, "He tore the chains apart... No one was strong enough to subdue him." No one except Jesus. He expelled the "evil spirit." And the man ended up "sitting at Jesus' feet... in his right mind" (Luke 8). Jesus is still doing miracles like that, fixing what's broken inside us, transforming the evil inside us. That victory over our darkness cost Him his life at the cross.
Our word for today from the Word of God, Revelation 1:5 says, "He loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood." Today He wants to bring peace into the angry storm in your life if you'll open the door of your heart to Him. How to do that? Go to our website. You'll find it there - ANewStory.com - and let Him begin the transforming relationship that tames the monster inside.