Summary: anger can be legitimate if that anger is aimed at correcting wrongs within the Body of Christ.
July 9, 2006
This is the last in a series of sermons on being lost. I told you before that I became addicted to the television series LOST, but then have really been unable to keep up with the story-line. The show is about the 48 survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 which crashed on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean. They run into all sorts of surprises and challenges as they fight to survive in the wilderness.
I have decided that since I have missed so many episodes, I am going to buy the DVD’s so that I can see the whole thing from the beginning and start to put the pieces together.
Have you ever been lost? How did you feel? I remember when I was eight years old and playing in the Wildcat Baseball League here in Fort Wayne. We took a train trip up to Chicago to watch the White Sox play a game. I honestly don’t remember the game at all, but I do remember getting lost when it was over.
We were on our way back to the bus to take us to the train station for our trip home when I stopped to buy one of those great big suckers that last for about a week. I turned around and saw that I was alone. There was nobody in sight that I knew. So I did what my parents had always told me to do…I found a police officer. I walked up to this cop and told him that I was lost. He looked down at me and said, “Don’t worry. Kid’s get lost around here every day.” Then he turned around and walked off.
I became terrified and started to cry. Some lady saw me crying and came over to ask me what was wrong. She finally helped me locate my bus and the incident turned out alright. But I remember the sheer terror that I felt that day.
I have been thinking about that day for awhile. I have a feeling that kids aren’t the only ones who get lost. When adults lose their way, it is often an emotional experience. We lose track of ourselves and don’t understand why we feel the way we feel. Often, we’re not sure how to get back on track. We feel lost when things are out of control and we’re not in charge anymore. It can be a really scary time for us. Today, as we wrap up this series, we’re going to talk about being lost and angry.
What is it that sets you off, that really makes you angry? What trips your trigger? What is it that gets on your very last nerve? What is it that makes you so mad that your face gets crimson?
I have already told you that one of the things that really burns me up is having to stand in line at a gas station behind someone who can’t decide which lottery tickets to buy.
Lat week, my oldest kid got married. Ever since he gave Megan her diamond for a Christmas present last year, he has been planning to get married that day. He was crunching the numbers, trying to figure out how much money he was going to need. When he was home for Christmas break, he had an extra fifty bucks in his pocket…and so he got a tattoo with it. Both his mother and I were furious. Apparently, there is a tattoo artist in Fort Wayne named “Donny” or “Danny” or “Dennis” or something like that. He is known all over the country. Matt just had to get a tattoo done by him. We were not pleased.
My other son dropped his cell phone in the toilet. Of course, it doesn’t work and he’s impossible to get hold of anymore. The boy just really frosts my cookies.
Anger is no stranger to God. Throughout the Bible, there are hundreds of examples of God’s anger which was directed toward God’s people. God got angry at the Children of Israel when they made a golden calf to worship. God got angry at King David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. God was angry with the people when they no longer followed him, and so he sent them into exile in Babylon.
Even Jesus got angry during his life. He got angry when the religious leaders were preventing the people from hearing the truth about God. He got angry when the Temple worship was being distorted; so angry that he drove the moneychangers away with a whip.
But what can we say about anger in our lives? Do we try to deny it? Do we try to hide from it? Do we refuse to recognize it? Do we just give in to it? What do we do?