I’ve noticed that anger seems to be the new normal. Earlier this week, I sat in my car at a red light with my blinker indicating I planned to turn right, and a horn blared behind me. In Kentucky, a driver may turn right at a red light, if there is no oncoming traffic. However, I noticed a truck speeding toward the intersection. Had I turned when the irritated driver behind me wanted me to move, I could have been killed.
The offended driver shifted lanes and at the next red light, he shook his fist at me, and shouted while we waited. I’m glad the closed windows kept me from hearing his words. When he drove away, my heart pounded, but I also felt sympathy for him. He must carry a heavy burden for a minor delay to ignite such a temper tantrum, and so, I lifted a prayer for him and those in his life.
I see the same behavior reported every day on the news. People are on edge, and tempers explode in an instant. I am thankful the furious driver didn’t pull out a gun and shoot me. Such an incident happened last year at a rest stop on I-65, five miles from my home.
Wednesday’s incident caused me to wonder what the Bible says about anger and how to we should respond. Below are some of my favorite verses.
As Christians, we can’t allow anger to be our normal behavior. I hope and pray my actions, and maybe more importantly, my reactions to others’ behavior demonstrate evidence that the Holy Spirit lives within me. When I fail, I not only risk losing an opportunity to draw others to the light of Jesus, but I also grieve the Holy Spirit. We live in a broken world, and our only hope is Jesus Christ.
I pray others see the fruit of the Spirit in my life. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against these things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23