May 14, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath (rage - NIV), malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. - Colossians 3:8 NKJV.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath (rage - NIV), selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. - Galatians 5:19-21a.
Let all bitterness, wrath (rage - NIV), anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:31-32.
More and more people are expressing their rage and here are just a few of the many stories I quickly found this morning:
Bevalente Hall a 37-year-old woman in Gastonia, South Carolina was enraged when a Subway didn’t put pizza sauce on her Flatizza. According to Bevalente, Subway workers had put marinara sauce on the Flatizza and refused to refund her money. So, the enraged Bevalente called 911. She has been charged with misuse of the 911 system. (WSOC-TV News; Gaston Gazette 05.13.14)
Ana Folch (62-years-old) was enraged with her neighbors so she called a demolition company and had their trailer and septic tank demolished. Folch said she did it because “people who had lived there were unsavory and she suspected they had broken into her car. She said she considered it a favor to her neighborhood.” Folch caused about $25,000 in damages and has been charged with criminal mischief. (Jacksonville.com 05.08.14)
Alec Baldwin was peacefully riding his bike the wrong way on a New York City street when he was stopped by police officers. Deputy Police Chief Kim Y. Royster said this about the incident, “He got belligerent and started arguing with them and using profanity.” Baldwin had no identification and was arrested for disorderly conduct. (CNN.com and various other news venues 05.14.14)
How could we ignore the story and video of Beyonce’s sister Solange Knowles attacking Jay Z in an elevator? Do a search for that and you get 143,000,000 google results. I think we could say that Solange was a little enraged!
There was also a road rage incident with a video being reported yesterday. I think it is likely that some of those people expressing their rage would consider themselves to be Christians. The Bible makes it very clear that rage and the expression of rage are not something that believers should be doing.
There are many things in this world today that are very frustrating and can quickly make us enraged. Coping with rapidly changing technology is something that our ancestors never had to do. Knowing whether or not you were biking on the wrong side of the street is new to recent generations. In the past, road rage was unknown because it was hard to cut off another horse driven carriage and race away. Monday a car cut me off by coming into my lane on a curve and I had to hit my brakes and swerve to avoid a collision. I’m sure the driver in the other car blissfully drove on not knowing they had almost caused an accident.
How do we keep from becoming enraged and having “outbursts of wrath?” The apostle Paul gives us some direction in Colossians 3:1-4 where the Bible says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” You see there are some things more important than all of these things that can frustrate us here on earth. Instead of having “fits of rage (NIV)” when something doesn’t go our way, or we are frustrated, or people do something completely human and upsetting, let us set our minds “on things above.”