”…Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!”
For those of us who are old enough, you probably remember the ORIGINAL, and vastly superior, television show The Incredible Hulk, starring Lou Ferrigno and the late Bill Bixby. Most of us are familiar with the story line, Bill Bixby plays scientist David Banner who is exposed, during a botched experiment, to an overload of gamma radiation, (I hate it when that happens) and now, whenever he becomes angry, he goes through a “startling metamorphoses” and turns into “The Incredible Hulk”, again played by the amazingly “jacked” Lou Ferrigno. The money line for that show, and one that got said at least once an episode, was when David Banner would turn to somebody, that was beginning to antagonize him, and wryly say, “__________, Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” Which, of course, sounded really strange coming from this little, mild, scientist dude.
The truth is that I am the Incredible Hulk. Most people know me as a pretty nice guy. And, to be honest, I am a pretty nice guy. It usually takes a lot to make me angry, BUT if you do make me angry—Watch Out!
Rachel and I went to the movies with some friends over the weekend, but when we arrived in the theater to take our seats the place was packed and only a couple of individual seats remained, so the girls and the guys had to sit apart. One of our friends, unbeknownst to me, politely asked a couple sitting in a row with 2 open seats (not adjoined) if they would mind sliding down one seat so the girls could sit together. The man refused and then rudely added several more comments to my friends, and my wife, including that, “We aren’t moving. You should have gotten here earlier.” (again, I am sitting with my dude friends in the next row and don’t hear any of this.)
So, at the end of the movie Rachel and my friends began telling me how mean this guy was and the comments he made, and I began to feel the “startling metamorphosis” beginning to take over. What I wanted to do was to go over to the guy and “strongly suggest” that he be nicer to people. It’s amazing when your 6’8″ 300+ pounds people tend to, but not always, pay attention to your “strong suggestions.” But, I knew if I did that, the night would not have ended well. So, I gave the guy “a look” and walked away to go get the car with my friend—saying nothing.
Do you get angry? I do. Anger is infections, insidious and very destructive. In the moment It can warm your body, but will eventually leave you cold as a stone. How do we make sure that the tensions that build up in us every day don’t rise to the levels of anger and rage? What helps you? I find working out, writing, and spending consistent time with God and family help me to keep a level head. You see, when we are immersed in the things of eternal significance those things that are not important become more apparent for what they are—a lie!
One HUGE byproduct of keeping our anger in check, by focusing on the person of Christ, is that you find yourself becoming more “angry” at the things in this world that break the heart of God—instead of the selfish kind of anger. Getting “angry” at hunger, injustice, abuse, and poverty bring us closer to the heart of a just and loving God.
What makes you angry? What helps you when you are angry? Please, leave a comment! And, remember to join our email list or send The Ordained Barista to your RSS feed by clicking on the coffee mug at the top of the page.
Colossians 3:8, 12-13 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.