Welcome to day 29 of our 40 day countdown to Easter 2019! Unexploded Bombs! World War II ended 72 years ago and still, as recent as April last year, the Los Angeles Times published an article about large-scale evacuations because they are still finding unexploded bombs in Germany. On April 20, 2018, a 1000-pound unexploded bomb was defused after it was found buried just beneath the surface of an area in the heart of Berlin. It caused more than 10,000 people to be evacuated from their homes and offices, consequently, shutting down the entire city which was just near a train station that services about 300,000 commuters a day.
Here's the thought ~ what's true of lingering bombs is also true of lingering anger.
ANGER CAN BE CONTROLLED BEFORE IT EXPLODES
Ephesians 4:26 says, "Be ye angry and sin not:..."
First, the bright spot of this scripture is even though anger is commonly associated with negative outcomes, when handled correctly, it is not sinful. There are positive outcomes that can result from anger, but to do so, you can and should exercise self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 and II Peter 1:6, calls this "temperance". Another great passage is I Corinthians 9:25 that says anyone who is training to master a sport or to win in a game must be "temperate in all things." In this case, understand that anger is a powerful emotion and when it rises, we must exercise self-control so that it does not end with us committing sin.
BURIED ANGER WILL EXPLODE WHEN WE LEAST EXPECT IT
As frightening as the first part of the story sounds, there's more. According to the Germany Interior Ministry, hundreds of tons of explosives are recovered every year in France. In fact, one year 13 old bombs exploded, killing 12 people and wounding another 11 people. One government official said, these unexploded bombs become more dangerous with time because they corrode internally and that makes the weapon unstable, leaving the detonator to be exposed. In short, those old bombs are still killing.
Ephesians 4:26 goes on to say, "...let not the sun go down on your wrath."
The second part of this passage is a sobering warning from the Lord about the serious damage that unresolved anger can cause in our lives. When it is allowed to linger and go "unchecked", it is like a mine field just waiting to explode when one day, we step on a trigger. All of a sudden, life can be turned upside down by something we didn't expect to do or have done to us.
When it says do not let "the sun go down", it is not about the a literal sunset or a specific time of day. It means anger cannot be ignored. Do not let time go by without dealing with it!
As believers, in particular, dealing with anger has to be a priority. Just as the old unexploded bombs corrode internally and make the bomb unstable, unresolved anger will cause "corrosion" of our hearts and make us unstable. Those old wounds turn into bitterness and sinful thoughts. The next thing you know, BOOM ~ you want revenge or have said something you regret!
From a mental and emotional perspective, it is dangerous and unhealthy. From a spiritual perspective, we must choose to reflect the character of God. YOU must choose to cease from anger, forsake wrath and no longer fret yourself, in any way, to commit evil (Psalm 37:8).
Today, we are praying...
Heavenly Father, I bring my emotions to You. When I feel angry, I feel a powerful desire to stretch the limits of living a self-controlled life. I know Psalm 103:8 says, You are merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, but when I'm angry, I don't automatically think that way.
In those moments, it seems easier to just bury the bomb. Please deliver me from that.
Fill my heart with the overflow of your peace. Allow my mind to calm and be renewed with the mind of Christ.
No longer will I live in anger or be exposed to explosions. Instead, I will deal with anger and keep it from controlling the way I speak and treat others. Teach me Your way to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!
~Inspiring hope and seasoning faith, Pastor Sean