People get angry – it’s a perfectly normal reaction when someone oversteps boundaries in your emotion. Have you ever thought why you get angry? What triggers your anger? And if you do get angry, what do you do then?
Anger comes when you don’t need it… and it is actually worse when you do need it. Today, I am going to write about men who made mistakes because of their anger. I’m not sure if any of them had time to eat chocolate, though. Hmm…. what was I writing about? Oh right, I am talking about Ghengis Khan and Alexander the Great. But before I talk about them, let us read the words below.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Do not be hasty in your spirit to be angry; for anger rests in the bosom of fools.”
Webmaster’s Note: This was written by Danielle Justine Gan a 14 year old girl who is passionate about writing for Christ.
Alright, I will explain later why I am writing this essay, but as of now, I will tell you about these men first. Oh, and also the reason I wanted you to read the verse above is because though these two men may be smart; they are fools. Alexander was a Grecian conqueror, who practically, took the known world then and made it into the greatest empire in the world. Alexander is a good example of the consequences of anger. He and his men were drinking wine and making jokes about their fellow Macedonians, those who died in battle between them and the “barbarians.”
Clitus, Alexander’s friend, didn’t think it right to make fun of them and expressed it publicly. Alexander teased him for such “cowardice,” at this both of them started a heated argument. The last of Alexander’s patience was thinning. It only broke when Clitus embarrassed Alexander’s reputation as an excellent fighter and leader. This ended with Alexander killing a long loyal friend with a spear. Once he realized what he did, Alexander cried that night and the next morning, and he did not stop until he had no more tears to shed.
Gengis Khan was a Mongolian ruler of a vast empire, but he had a problem with his temper. A good example to show that this is true comes from a story known as “The King and His Hawk.” In this amazing literature, which is retold by James Baldwin, Gengis Khan went out hunting with his hawk on a hot sunny day. Tired and thirsty, he started looking for a brook he saw last time. You see, he went here before. Well actually, a lot of times. Oh well, let’s continue the story. When he found the brook, he took a cup from his bag and filled it with water, may I mention he was getting the water between two high rocks.
When the cup was full, he lifted his hand to drink it, but the hawk flew by and knocked it out of his hands. This happened two more times.
Gengis Khan was very angry, that when he repeated filling his cup, knowing that the hawk will repeat its actions. He killed it with a sword that he held in his hand. His cup flew on top of the rocks, so he had to climb to retrieve it. When he reached the top he found the most poisonous snake lying in the water dead and oozing blood. When he realized what had happened, he instantly felt guilty and sad. He took his friend and brought it home to bury it.
Sometimes, we develop attitudes that harm us more than we could ever imagine. It hurts us so bad that it could never be healed or repaired. The most prominent attitude is rebelliousness. Since every person is born with hard headedness, it becomes much more important that we try to control ourselves. If we become rebellious, there will be consequences, bad ones. To help us to stop being rebellious, we have to be able to keep our temper in check. Keeping our temper under control will help us to yield down, and not make enemies. Do you know that being hot headed refrain other people from going near you?
That is sometimes the reason why it is hard for us to understand the person trying to help us, resulting in us being very rebellious and rude. Especially since experience is a VERY HARSH teacher. When I was young, my mother would always try to get me to improve my character. She especially tries to get me to control my temper, and to say words without making it sound rude. It’s very hard and I practically get annoyed almost every time. She always reminds me to watch my tongue and temper. It’s especially complicated since my temper always shift. From being happy, I become angry, and then I become gloomy. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It just naturally happens… Until now actually.
Proverbs 25: 28 “Like a city that is broken into and without walls, is a man who has no control over his spirit.”
In Proverbs 25:28, which is written above, means (in my perspective) that if a person cannot control their temper, they will end up…. practically busted. Most likely, nobody would want to be with you, or help you for that matter. Sometimes they actually end up in jail. Well, not all of them but you should at least have heard of someone. Let’s just say that if you don’t control your temper, you end up practically in REALLY BIG TROUBLE. And don’t worry there is a twenty percent chance of you knowing someone, who knows someone, who has a cousin who knows someone who ended up in jail because of anger problems. Joke!
James 1:19-20 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath: For the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.”
If you have the book Achieving True Success, then turn to page fifty one. This page talks about Meekness vs. Anger, which is very much related to the topic above. Meekness is yielding your personal rights and expectations, with a desire to serve.
If you are meek, you are strong, for you have won a battle within yourself that is more precious than rubies or gold.
– Danielle Justine Gan (another maxim from me)
Meekness, even if you don’t believe it, has rewards. These rewards are, becoming more understanding and gaining strength. You see, if you become understanding, there would be a greater possibility of avoiding unnecessary fights. Below are two stories. No three…. Well, actually, two and a half…. Just read.
One time, well just a few minutes ago, my sister came in my room while I was studying. I was really annoyed of course and asked very rudely what she wanted. She came in my room and told me she’s giving me something. We sat on the bed while she presented the gift. When she revealed it, I was happy but not enough to show it. It was a beautiful, fake, silver necklace, with a Papa Smurf pendant. I was so happy, that when she left I felt guilty. Until now I’m wearing it (Papa Smurf looks so cute!) and yes, I really need to apologize later for being rude.
John kissed Mary’s cheek. Instead of getting angry, Chad, Mary’s husband, asked who John was, and why John kissed Mary’s cheek (in a polite tone). Chad came to know, in a formal way, who John was and why. Which in this case, John is Mary’s younger cousin.
Third Story (Now if….)
Talk about embarrassing! So you see, understanding the situation would be best for everyone.
Now to talk about strength, when I say strength, I don’t entirely mean being buff and stuff. In the example of Chad and John, you saw one scene, but with two results. Why? It is because in the first scene, Chad kept his temper in check. That is the kind of strength I’m talking about, the ability to control the temper of oneself.
So that you can try to be meek, here is a list of “I wills”
(Founded in the book of achievements)….
1.) I will be slow to get angry.
2.) I will not boast.
3.) I will not grumble or complain.
4.) I will look for ways to help those in need.
5.) I will be willing to go last.
Job was a favoured character in the Bible. I always gave him some respect. After all, my cousin’s name is also Job. Anyway Job of the Bible, was a man who loved God and kept his temper in check. Even if he had leprosy and lost everything he had. In the end he was blessed with twice of what he had.
My Maxim ( I wrote it man! YA!)
People love a man of peace,
They tend to stay away from one with rage,
They bless those who controls themselves,
And have no fear to curse who don’t.
– Danielle Justine Gan
Mahatma Gandhi (Ouch! My mom’s hitting my arm in excitement.), was a “peace maker.” He wanted independence from the British, but peacefully. Though, a lot of his teaching ended in bloodshed, unintentional of course. The reason that this happened is because….
1.) He encouraged civil disobedience to their foreign rulers. Obviously, this will end up with them enraging the British instead.
2.) And also because Gandhi was not with God when he suggested this.
But like what I said before, peace makers, even “peace makers,” are always loved. Now if you want to know where THE Gandhi is, he’s dead, but if you want to meet Gandhi, he is in the hearts and minds of many Indians. Because of trying to make peace, he became their national hero.
Now William Carey, who was also a peace maker of India, was a preacher of the Bible. He translated the bible into forty languages or dialects, possibly more. He is known as the “Father of Modern Missions.” Unlike Gandhi, he fought for God, peacefully, and succeeded, why? Because….
1.) He was doing it for the Lord and not himself.
2.) He did not need independence because he was already free, but he wanted to help the Indians from their false and wrong belief.
3.) He trusted the Lord to do his will, his motto is actually, “Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God.”
So you see, doing things for Jehovah has a good, and a great, cause. Getting angry is alright, but only if it is because someone offended the Lord. In other words, it is more of being indignant. In the Bible, Jesus was indignant twice.
The first time was when he went inside the temple and saw that the temple was being used as a market place. He was so angry that he actually destroyed the stores and let the doves go free. This story can be found in Mark 11: 15-19. The second time was when his disciples tried to shoo away the children that wanted to and see Jesus. He told his disciples to let them come to him, and said in Mark 10:15, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” So it alright to be angry, that is for the right reasons.
Ever had a time in your life when you got so offended that you were cringing with hateful emotions? Perhaps someone shamed you in public or a younger sibling disrespected you in front of friends with whom you hold good reputation? Or perhaps you are denied something – a material thing that you really wanted, or a relationship you were trying so hard to pursue. Unexpected things in life can trigger anger which can lead to hate – which can lead to bitterness.
The Danger of Bitterness
Almost all murders that have happened in our world today is a result of unchecked anger which planted seeds of bitterness. This bitterness then grew its roots and tightly grasped into its host’s heart and soul – sucking out any good that the host could have done in its relationships with other people.
“Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.” – 1 John 3:15
The root of a plant is something that is usually unseen. It is below the surface of the ground it is on. The root is an anchor for the plant – it enables the plant to take shape and grow. Bitterness has been attributed to a root. It goes deeper and deeper into your heart and emotions. And the more you try to weed it out, the harder it is and the more painful.
The plant will grow thorns in your heart – whenever people try to get closer to you, your bitterness will wound them.
Bitterness is a parasite that rots your heart – but the worst part is, it eats up other relationships too.
Bitterness needs two things to grow:
- A hurting host
Results of Bitterness
When you let bitterness grow and establish its roots in you, the plant that results can vary – from murder, slander, gossip, hatred, anger, impatience, divorce, irateness, death, sadness, sickness, depression, etc… Whatever the resulting plant is, it will consequently affect other relationships.
You don’t know it, but bitterness is an act of holding on to a hurt and anger until it has a hold on you. No one wants anything to have a hold on them intentionally – but you won’t recognize that it’s exactly what bitterness is already doing to you.
The Core of Bitterness
Bitterness needs special kinds of soil to grow on. And these can be identified as unforgiveness, being withdrawn, sulking, complaining, grumbling, having a critical spirit, ingratitude, absence of peace and joy, and other forms of self-centeredness. Having these things in your life prepares the way for bitterness to take root. You have to change your heart to good soil in order for you to avoid bearing bitter fruit – and bear good ones.
Consequently, if you allow bitterness to take root, you will lose intimacy with the Lord – making your bitterness an idol. And you will be unable to bear good fruit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” – Galations 5:22-23
As a Christian, we are called to bear good fruit. Meaning, you have to take away bitterness in you.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8
“But whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” – Psalm 1:2-3
- Surrender to God’s sovereignty. Bitterness drives you to your own desire to be bitter without surrender to anyone.
- Ask for forgiveness from God.
- Forgive the offender.
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” – 1 Peter 2:23
Jesus surrendered to God’s sovereignty. He did not harbor bitterness towards the people. He even asked God to forgive them – meaning He also forgave them. He did not allow even one inch of bitterness to take root in His heart.
Do not allow bitterness to take root and hold you. Free yourself. Surrender to God and forgive.