Bulletin Article
March 10, 2002

Anger Begets Anger

By: Doug Long

I saw a special on TV a couple of years ago that was about a new type of marriage counseling service. It involved letting the couples argue and get all of the anger out of them. I saw couples insulting each other and calling each other names, and making fun of each others appearance. One would say, "I resent your huge nose." The other would say something equally hurtful. When the special was over, I came to the conclusion that this therapy was based on a false premise. The doctor looked at anger as something that builds up over time, and therefore needs to be released, but all I saw was couples that started out not angry at each other become openly hostile and hateful to one another. One of the hosts of the show (Hugh Downs) said something that I will never forget, he said

"I think anger begets more anger, and that isn't good."

We have all been witnesses to this effect lately also. You see on the news that the Palestinians killed some Israelis, and the next day you read in the paper that the Israelis killed some Palestinians, and the cycle continues. Think about it. When you get angry and act on it, don't you get more angry? I do. What does the Bible say about this? Jesus gave us some good advice in Matthew 5:44

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Jesus went further in Luke 6:27-31

27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

It is a shame that those in the world don't understand this simple concept. If you do what Jesus says, you will have rewards in heaven, but you will also have a reward here on earth. You will not have to cope with your own anger and hate because you will not let it get a foothold.