For those with a short fuse a temper tantrum is a second away. All it takes is blocking our objective. Conquering that trait is a lifetime of work. Behaviors are ingrained through heredity, interaction with situations in our environment and through time. The longer a behavior is ingrained, the deeper it embeds; the longer it takes to supplant it with patience and grace. Of course, putting distance between us and anger begins as it did with Jesus by saying ‘Not my will but thy will be done’. Sacrificing what we want for peace and love, which God wants, brings victory over our baser natures.
Watered down Christianity omits sacrifice. Tolerance of vanity, materialism, and lust is common. A recent statistic indicated that 70% of men have indulged in some form of pornography. Old Testament prophets who decried these behaviors got their audiences fuming. Jesus’ teachings were a roadblock on selfish desires. That sent the elitist Jewish class into a death rage. True believers desire to live by ‘every word that comes from the mouth of God’. These words from St. Paul are God’s words: ‘Any bitterness or bad temper or anger or shouting or abuse must be far removed from you — as must every kind of malice’ (Ephesians 4:31). “Far Removed” is possible and required.
There is no way to implement these words without dying to our own desires. In Gethsemane’s garden Jesus forsook his own will. ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine’ (Luke 22:42). That was followed with his death. The cross we are called to carry is also a death to our own will. If everything is sacrificed to His will, there is nothing left to get angry about, with one exception – injustice. Anger over that isn’t sinful. It also angers God. Not because His desire is thwarted but because of His love for His children. But is Christianity about never getting what we want? Hardly. ‘But Peter said, ‘Look, we left all we had to follow you.’ He said to them, ‘In truth I tell you, there is no one who has left house, wife, brothers, parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not receive many times as much in this present age and, in the world to come, eternal life’ (Luke 18:28-30). Whatever we have sacrificed we get back many times more in this life, plus eternal life. So what is there to get angry about? Would you get angry about getting ‘many times more’ for everything you sacrificed for Him? Christians should have the longest fuse of all, or no fuse except for injustice. Knights of Columbus sacrifice time and resources for charity. Of course, many times more comes back to us. Why not enrich yourself with us?
For information on joining the Knights of Columbus / St. Bonaventure Council No. 12240, contact
Grand Knight Felix Hodges (954) 790-3023 [email protected]
Membership Director Joe Cox (954) 614-3209 [email protected]