Words of Hope: The Age of Enragement
My Dad’s father loved rage as a tool to solve problems. Dad desired to learn to be gentle. He sought out gentle men as mentors to help him learn how to navigate difficulty without getting angry. He and I memorized James 1, which states, “For man’s anger does not produce the righteous life that God desires.” We talked about having relationships without anger and being people and leaders who did not resort to anger to move our agenda.
One day, Dad and I went for a walk on the community dock near our house. A small, older man started screaming and yelling. I looked around, believing there was a vicious dog on the dock that he was yelling at. To my surprise, he was screaming at my Dad and me to get off the dock. I couldn’t fathom he was speaking to Dad and me this way. He got up in my Dad’s face waving his finger and screaming, “Get off the dock, get out, you have no right to be here.” My Dad stayed calm, and he said to him, “You are an angry man. How is this anger helping you in life? I am happy to show our permit but tell me why you are yelling at us with so much rage?” The man eventually stopped yelling and then grudgingly saw we had permission to be on the dock. Later, my Dad met with him, and he confessed he was always angry. They struck up an acquaintance—not quite a friendship but a relationship of respect.
I often thought how Dad kept his cool and kept bringing the responsibility back to the man by asking him—why are you so full of anger? Shann, my husband, calls this present age the age of enragement whereby we try and assert our power with anger and rage. As I see people or even myself trying to use anger as a tool to move others, I am reminded by Dad’s question—why do I want to live with anger?
“My dear brothers, take note of this; everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God requires.” – James 1:19-20