The Two Destroyers
by Wayne A. Mack
Anger! Stress! These two words are used frequently in the course of our daily lives. They are used so commonly because they describe a very common phenomenon. Who of us has not been on the giving and receiving end of anger? Unfortunately, the same is true of stress. We all know people, or perhaps we’re the people, who have been “stressed out.” Yes, we are all too familiar with the experience of both anger and stress. Who of us has never observed, or even been a participant in, the devastating conse-quences of either of these two destroyers?
Yes, I call them destroyers, because that’s what they are and what they do. Nothing good has ever come out of mishandled stress or sinful anger. Scripture says, “Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood” (Prov. 27:4). How picturesque and how true is that description of sinful anger! An unbiblical kind of anger is like a flood that destroys people and property. Truly, “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). In fact, it does the opposite. It never does anything good, but it surely does a lot of damage. So we must learn how to control it, or it will destroy us and other people—either literally or figuratively.
Likewise, it can be said that stress is much like anger in its effects on the individual and his relationships with people. Eustress (good stress—a certain amount of concern) is good, but eustress can quickly and easily become distress, which by definition causes sorrow, misery, pain, or suffering. Dictionaries indicate that stress is closely associated with agony and anguish—with things that cause torment and can be excruciating.
Because of the prevalence of these two problems and the damage they can cause, we are constantly hearing about anger and stress management seminars. Because business executives know of the ways that these two destroyers can hurt their companies, they regularly contract with so-called experts in these areas to come and present seminars to their employees. Legal authorities will some-times require people who have become threats to other people to attend seminars or take courses on the subjects of anger and stress.
Most of these courses and seminars are based on human-istic approaches to these issues. They completely ignore the option of turning to Scripture for the counsel of our great, all-wise God, who is the world’s greatest expert on how to handle anger and stress. That this is how the world approaches these issues shouldn’t surprise us, but the appalling thing is that many Christians are not aware that the Bible contains the most valuable, authoritative, and trustworthy information about how to handle ungodly anger and stress.
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