Big Boy Baby
Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. Exodus 32:19
Though I consider myself not to be an angry person, it is not unusual to find myself thinking or saying ridiculous things in my anger. When my kids are yelling at each other, I yell at them to stop yelling. Though this makes perfect sense at the time, they are old enough to see through my hypocrisy. In my anger, I turn into a big boy baby.
Though Moses had cause to be angry with the Israelites – they had just fashioned and worshipped an idol – his initial response was less than constructive. In his wrath, Moses turned his anger on the closest inanimate objects at hand, taking God’s written commands, the stone tablets, and smashing them to pieces.
Our anger, like a drug, often clouds our thinking, causing us to lash out in unproductive and hurtful ways. It is not that anger is necessarily wrong. Anger is an emotion that we may have no initial control over. It is our response to it that makes it destructive.
In our anger, we can learn to interrogate it. Do I have cause to be angry? Or am I just being a big boy baby? There are certainly things in this world that should cause us anger. Often though, we are just angry because something or someone has thwarted our will. Our anger is often just a product of our own immaturity.
Still though, there are times when anger is justified. If someone hurts a child, we can and should feel anger. It is in these situations that our risk for a destructive response is the highest. It is when we feel most justified in our anger that we are the most likely to respond inappropriately. No matter how righteous we are in our anger, God never asks us to sin in response to sin. Even in justified anger, we always must keep our eyes on God, refusing to respond with more destructive behavior.