Over the past several days I have been asking myself how it is possible that one person would be so angry – angry enough to pull a gun and fatally shoot an 18-year-old girl with whom he was angling for space on a stretch of road. Not only has a beautiful life been cut short, but another beautiful life is about to be wasted. It may sound a little frivolous, because life is worth more than beating another person to a spot. But when you are so angry, an anger which may in part have been fueled by some sense of entitlement, anger becomes almost impossible to manage.
Scripture doesn’t dismiss or disparage anger. Rather, it questions the effects of any anger. Paul cautions in the Letter to the Ephesians that the sun should not go down on our anger. In other words, be angry, but be strong enough to manage and overcome that anger.
(Continue Reading…) I wonder what would have happened if either the victim or the killer had taken a step back and taken a moment to breathe. I learned that a pause, the simple act of breathing in, lowers anger and resettles us. I also learned that you don’t have to be the first or the best all the time. There are times when you have to be the last person, and there are times when being the best isn’t even possible. When our lives are not fashioned by a sense of entitlement or by the satisfaction of being the first or the best, we open ourselves up to managing our anger at others and even at ourselves. We even free ourselves up to laugh at situations and our very selves.
What is it that angers you? What makes you want to clench your fist and bang the table? What is it that makes you want to pull out your gun?
Whenever you find yourself in such a situation, I invite you to pause and take a deep breath. You may save yourself and a life.