Ed, my neighbor next door, had a kind word for me the other day. I almost fainted, but I suspect it was a slip of his tongue and won’t happen again. I mentioned to Ed that I had been grouchy at work with a friend and a couple of other people. Sometimes I get snappy and cranky and let loose my anger on others. “I don’t want to be an old porcupine throwing barbs of anger around!” I told Ed.
“Don’t sweat it,” Ed said. “There are worse things than cranky words. Sometimes a little anger is honest and needed. Truth can get focused in anger.” Then he continued, “I’d rather deal with honest anger than dishonest flattery. It is better to be openly cranky with another person than to be quiet around them yet resentful and slanderous about them behind their backs. At least with you, people know if you have a grievance with them, as you’ll tell them with your crankiness.”
Some people seem so calm and focused no matter what is happening. Some of the rest of us can become like a tree bent out of shape by a strong wind. We can be found boiling over in frustration or sputtering out in anger. Some can easily let things go and some of us won’t leave a troubling situation alone. All of us tend to agree that self-control is needed, but some of us cannot hang onto ours. I have noticed that when I get angry, it is like I’m not in my right mind.
The Bible speaks of Jesus coming to the region of Gerasenes and a man came out from the tombs to meet him. The Bible describes the man this way, “This man lived in the tombs and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. He had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.” One might say that he was out of control all the time and suffering greatly for it. People described him as having an evil spirit or being out of his right mind.
Crankiness, anger, jealousy, hatred, lust, greed, drunkenness, selfish ambition and envy can spin us out of control. These things are part of our sinful nature and ever seek to get the upper hand in our lives. They are part of us naturally, but they are self-destruction buttons that promise much, but are no less than deadly poison aimed at self-destructing us.
No one could bind the man who met Jesus from the tombs. There is no subduing our sinful nature by our own efforts. There is no difference – we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Yet, like the man from the tombs, there is hope for us. Jesus cured the man who was out of control and restored him to his right mind. When the people of the area saw the man healed and in his right mind they were afraid of Jesus. Yet, he came among us to heal the sick in body and soul and mind. When we go to meet Jesus as those not right in our anger, greed, selfish ambition etc.; He offers us acceptance and healing. We are the ones who need it.