Minister's Corner: We need to let go of anger

Rev. Ray Belford, senior pastor
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

It is hard to watch the news and/or read the paper each day as it seems the world is out of control. There have been more than three million people die of COVID-19 around the world, and most of us know of at least one person who has succumbed to the virus in our community. Our country still has people who have not gotten vaccinated, and we still have folks that seem to think wearing a mask, or getting vaccinated, is somehow a major violation of their rights.

We have had so many mass shootings the past several months that our flags seem to be spending more time at half-staff, than flying proudly at the top of the pole.

People are marching all over the country, with peaceful protests often turning violent. Violence sometimes brought by people outside the community.

We have seen questionable shootings by police officers, which is making it difficult for good officers to do their duty. How many times do we have to see the officer with his knee on the neck of George Floyd?

We are seeing a rise in hate groups within our country.

I don’t like being so negative, but if we ignore what is happening, it likely will never stop. Just look at history.

In Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” He points to the root cause of murder is anger.

But it goes further than that. Anger is the cause for most confrontations, and it seems the world is getting angrier and angrier. Anger over wearing masks during the pandemic leads to people confronting one another.

The insurrection at our nation’s Capital was because people were angry over the results of the election because of false claims that the election was rigged.

What about road rage? This seems to be a growing area where anger takes over and people get hurt or killed, including innocent victims.

Isn’t it obvious why Jesus tells us to get rid of anger? Anger is the root cause of murder. Anger is the root cause of character assassination. Anger is the root cause of most harm that comes to people.

Jesus forgives our sins, and He tells us that we should forgive others. Jesus tells us that we should love one another, including our enemies. For a Christian, there should be no room for hate.

As Christians, we need to curb our anger. We all know that when we are angry, we do and say things we would never do had we not been angry.

Let us show love to others.

I sill remember the brother of a man who was shot and killed in his apartment by a police officer who thought the man was in her apartment. After she was convicted, the man’s brother forgave her and asked the judge if he could give her a hug. The judge allowed him to, and the scene of him hugging the person who killed his brother brought tears to the eyes of most people who were watching, including the judge. What a wonderful example of what Jesus asks us to do.

What we need in this world more than anything, is healing that comes from loving our enemies, controlling our anger, and forgiving others as we have been forgiven.

Rev. Ray Belford