When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. Acts 5:33
I don’t generally consider myself an angry person. I have my moments though, where I surprise, and disappoint, myself. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but lately I’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties with the blog. For some reason, I’m having trouble publishing every morning and I can’t change the default photo. So, as you may have observed, many of the recent blogs have been late and display the same old picture.
I thought it was fixed, but then yesterday morning . . . the same problem. It was 5:30AM and I was in a hurry to get to the gym. I simply didn’t have time for technical difficulties. Try as I might though, I just couldn’t make it work. I’m thankful everyone was sleeping, because I threw a little tantrum. I growled some bad words, scaring the dog, and for a split second, I wanted to smash my computer to the ground. I had my laptop in my hands when I regained my sanity. I didn’t break anything, but for that brief moment, I was intoxicated with anger, acting more than a little ridiculous. There I was, writing a Christian blog, acting like a spoiled child who couldn’t have his way.
Amusing as this may be, it’s far less funny when I lash out in anger at those around me. Anger is like that. When we indulge in it, we surrender to terrible impulses that we would never consider otherwise. While under the influence of anger, we do and say toxic things that are difficult to undo.
This is what nearly happened in today’s passage. Infuriated that they couldn’t stop the apostles from preaching the gospel, the religious elite wanted to put the apostles to death. In their anger, they were ready to kill, just to get their way. Gamaliel, a teacher and the voice of reason, intervened, insisting that if Jesus was a con artist, his followers would soon scatter. If, however, Jesus was the son of God, then no one could stop Christianity. With his calm thinking, Gamaliel prevented an angry impulse from turning into murder.
We may not be prone to murder while angry, but our impulsive words and actions can still cause horrible damage to the relationships we care about the most. Anger, like a drug, is intoxicating, destructive, and addictive. If we wouldn’t live enslaved to it, then we must admit the problem and daily do whatever it takes to abandon it, pursuing new life in Christ.