Old Relics—New Threats
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." 1
Melvin McDonald served in the Canadian Navy during World War II. One Monday, the 79-year-old McDonald and his wife showed up at the front desk at police headquarters in Winnipeg. His opening line to the police officer who offered to assist him was, "I got a grenade." He wasn't making a threat, mind you—just stating a fact. With that, he took a hand grenade out of a brown paper bag and gave it to the officer.
The shocked constable kept his head. He did, however, call the bomb squad immediately. Then things really started to happen. Most of the main floor of the Public Safety Building was evacuated, the fire department was put on alert, and the bomb squad showed up with all its sophisticated paraphernalia.
The grenade was still primed with explosive, and its fuse was intact. "I've had it in the house all these years," the veteran said. "I used to have it on a stand." His nephew had suggested it ought to be turned over to the police.
An embarrassed McDonald apologized for all the commotion he caused. It was only a keepsake from a training exercise in Scotland in the early 1940s.2
A very unhealthy way, one of the worst, to live is by burying and denying unresolved anger, hurts, bitterness, etc., from the past. These are the supercharged, repressed, negative emotions that, like an old live hand grenade, when triggered can cause an emotional explosion and severely damage or destroy close relationships. On the other hand, if these emotions stay buried and get triggered, they can cause an implosion and destroy a person's health and well-being.
Like all of God's directives, it is not without good reason that the Bible advises us to get rid of these destructive emotions. And we don't get rid of them by burying them and denying their existence. It is imperative that they are recognized, expressed in creative rather than destructive ways, and resolved.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word that admonishes us to, 'Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.' Please help me to recognize any of these destructive emotions and attitudes in me and show me how to resolve and get rid of them forever. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
Note: For further help read “Taming Your Anger” at: http://tinyurl.com/b439f.
1. Ephesians 4:31 (NIV).
2. Chad J Hedgepath. Cited on KneEmail, http://www.oakhillcoc.org/.