Anger Can Sting
by Rhonda Rhea
It was the wasp nest to end all wasp nests. Maybe it was the fruit punch the kids had spilled on the back deck that first attracted them. But by the time we followed the cloud of bugs to the back of the house—oh my goodness—it was the biggest nest I’d ever seen. It was obvious these bugs had already finished an adjoining guest house and were beginning construction on the stables and tennis courts.
I’ll just tell you flat out that anytime a nest is bigger than my head, I automatically respect it. And stay away from it. There came a time, however, when ignoring the problem wasn’t working anymore. The kamikaze bugs started pelting the windows. It sounded like machine gun fire. Talk about rage issues. But they weren’t just angry. They were angry and stupid. Seriously, if you saw what happened to one of your friends after flinging his speeding body against a house, would you still try it?
When we kept hearing the sound of automatic weapons, we checked it again and found that not only had planet Wasp grown to a ridiculously respectable size, but there were an extra couple of moons orbiting it. I think that was about the time I told my husband I would no longer be leaving the house.
One evening just before the groceries ran out, my brave husband tiptoed outside and created a beautiful toxic rain storm across the entire back side of the house. We were amazed to again hear the gunfire on the windows the next morning. They were back. And angrier. I started to wonder if we would have to wait for the bugs to die of some kind of toxic-chemical-induced malignancies.
Richie made another night assault, then another. It was taking forever. They were so annoying. By then I may have been taking on a few anger issues of my own.
Anytime anger gets out of control, we can end up doing some pretty stupid things. We might as well pound our head against a window or fling our body against a house. Not only can rage hurt us personally, but it can also bring a toxic rainstorm of destruction and pain on those around us. Proverbs 27:4 says, “Wrath is cruel and anger is an overwhelming flood” (AMP).
Worst of all, our out-of-control anger grieves God. Paul said in Ephesians 4:30-31, “And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption. All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice” (HCSB). What needs to happen to our hateful anger and all that orbits it? By the power of Christ, it must be removed everywhere we see it nesting.
We find the charge again in Colossians 3:8. “But now put away and rid yourselves completely of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips!” (AMP).
Couldn’t be clearer. “Rid yourselves completely.”
Which is also, by the way, how we dealt with the nest. After the third or fourth round of chemicals, Richie took a long pole to it. We’ve also decided not to have fruit punch any more. And that’s why I’m ending this column without a punch line.