Summary: We’ve been in this series called Christianity uncensored. We’ve been looking through the book of James. James was the half brother of Jesus. James brings a lot of really powerful and straight up teaching. He’s just peeling the facade back and laying out w
Series: Christianity Uncensored
Message #5: Anger Uncensored
By: Jud Wilhite
Anger can be a reality in our lives. There is a term for anger on the road and it’s road rage. There is a Web site called roadragers.com that gives some interesting statistics. It says that when you are on the road seventy percent of Americans admit that they will often tailgate someone to try and get them to go faster. I wouldn’t know anything about that but that’s what the statistics say. Seventy-one percent of Americans will use their horn to get someone in front of them to move on or get out of the way. Seventy-seven percent of Americans will engage in obscene gestures. Unless you are female and then the number goes up to eighty percent.
As your pastor, I need to tell you that when you wave at people without enough fingers out on the road it can be a very dangerous thing. In fact, a headline in a newspaper near Salt Lake City said this about two drivers that got into a little scuffle. In fact, the headline read this way: “Road Rage Bullet Hits Tip of a Raised Finger.” Apparently a twenty-five-year-old man was sitting at a stop light at 12:40 a.m. when a woman pulls up right beside him. The light turns green. Both of them are trying to get on Interstate 15. She begins to drive aggressively so he begins to drive aggressively. She yells something at him so he waves at her without all his fingers. She pulls out a .357 caliber gun and fires four shots into the car. One of which, no lie, hits his middle finger. I guarantee you next time this guy hits road rage out on the road he’s going to think before he acts. It can be dangerous.
Isn’t it interesting how anger can take something so small as a light going from red to green and can escalate in our lives until now someone’s pulling out a .357 and firing bullets? Cops are involved. Car chases are involved. People are going to prison. Yet it happens all the time. It happens in families, in homes, in work relationships - where anger gets in the way and gets deep into our lives. It erupts and causes all kinds of damage.
We’ve been in this series called Christianity uncensored. We’ve been looking through the book of James. James was the half brother of Jesus. James brings a lot of really powerful and straight up teaching. He’s just peeling the facade back and laying out what it means to be a follower of Christ in a very real and practical way. In James 4:1 he asks this question, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” What causes these fights that go on in our lives? It’s a very important question that we pause and look at.
Statistics say that in one quarter of marriages there is domestic violence that goes on. That number is probably low because so much of it isn’t reported. We see it in marriages that no matter what level the physical violence has gotten to, every couple knows what it’s like to cling to their corner of the bed mattress with tears in their eyes and hurt in their hearts as a result of that hurt and anger. We see it in family relationships where some people have competed with their siblings throughout their entire lives to inch out and be better than them or to win their parents’ approval and love. It plays out in their whole journey. We see it all around us – the results of anger and conflict.
In fact, I was watching Sports Center late last night. They were saying this is the one-year anniversary where the Pistons and another basketball team had the worst brawl in sports history. It went up into the stands and people are clobbering everyone. It’s chaos. Nine players are suspended. Ten million dollars in salaries have been lost over the last year because of an eruption of anger.
It happens for lots of reasons. When we get angry it’s important to first look beneath the surface. Let’s say you go up to a girl and ask her out on a date. She looks at you and says; “I don’t think so.” You immediately begin to feel some anger rising up. Why? You’ve been hurt. Let’s say you are on the road and you are driving. You have to get to work but all these other cars are in the way. It’s backed up. You know you are going to be late. You’ve been late before and if you are late again you are going to be in big trouble. You get really frustrated and you start banging the steering wheel. Why? Because you are frustrated.