SUNDAY PREVIEW: Why Are You So Angry?
Not long ago I took my son, Zane, to the DMV so he could take his written permit test. He gets out of school at 3:40 p.m. It’s about a 10-15 minute drive from the High School to the DMV office. The DMV stops administering written tests at 4:30 p.m. so I booked it to get there in time. We arrived at 4:00 p.m. We checked in. We got a number. Our number had the time we checked in recorded on it. We were on schedule. We sat and we waited for our number to be called. And we waited. And we waited. At 4:34 p.m. they called our number. We went to the counter and informed the nice lady that Zane was there to take the permit test. And her response was, “I’m sorry, we don’t give any tests after 4:30 p.m.” I was calm. I said, “Yes ma’am. We were here by 4:00. We were ready well before 4:30.” She said, “I’m sorry, that’s our policy.” The buttons began popping off my shirt. I started to let out a roar. My lips almost formed the words, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” But I stopped short of turning into The Incredible Hulk. Luckily I paused and thought about this headline—“Local Preacher Arrested for Fit of Rage at the DMV Office.”
For most of us, we are two people on the inside. There’s the sweet, unassuming, normal person. Then someone hits a button, flips a switch, says the wrong thing, and the Hulk comes out. Some of you stood at the altar and married David Banner, only to learn after the honeymoon that you married the Hulk also. Some of you thought you worked with David Banner, but saw the Hulk when you messed up on the job. Some mothers swore that they gave birth to David Banner, but now their teen-ager more resembles a monster that bears their name. Some Christians are godly and righteous church-goers on Sunday, but catch them at the wrong time during the week and the Hulk comes out.
We all have our moments when our inner Hulk comes out. Anger is a natural tendency for many of us. But have you ever thought about our anger and what things can so easily set us off? In Genesis chapter 4 verse 6, God asks Cain, “Why are you angry?” And I think He would probably ask the same question of us, “Why are you so angry?” When safety, Marty Carter, signed with the Chicago Bears he had this to say about the Bears’ rivalry with the Green Bay Packers: “I’m supposed to hate something, but I’m not sure what. I wasn’t even here last year, and I’m mad.” Do you ever find yourself in that same position—you’re mad and you don’t even really know why? Why do politics get you so riled up? Why are you fuming over someone pulling out in front of you? Why are you so mad that Burger King got your order wrong? Far too many folks, far too many Christians even, seem to live on the edge of anger. Why are we so angry? Could the simple answer be that you’re allowing things like pride, jealousy, and an unhealthy competitive nature to rule your heart rather than Jesus? Don’t be The Incredible Hulk. Be a different superhero. Be like Christ.