Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”-Ephesians 4:26
Years ago, I had the privilege of serving on the Disciplinary Committee of a local football league. Part of our function was to issue sporting sanctions to players who received red cards during the game. From time to time, different committee members would offer words of guidance to errant footballers, especially the youths.
I cannot forget a saying that one of my fellow members would often repeat. She would say to the respective player: “Spell “D.A.N.G.E.R”. Then she would add: “Spell A.N.G.E.R”. Her conclusion would be words to this effect: “The difference between danger and anger is only one letter, the letter ‘D’.”
Do you see your anger as dangerous? Is it wrong to be angry or does the problem only arise if you lose your temper? Interestingly, the New Testament instruction quoted above seems to suggest that it is possible to be angry and not sin. Another translation of that verse says, “In your anger do not sin.” The challenge is where to draw the line. This may very well be one of the hardest boundaries to establish in life.
Last Sunday, two prominent coaches in the English Premier League were shown red cards at the end of a heated, but exciting football match. Opinions were divided about their conduct as they confronted each other verbally on more than one occasion. One opinion was that it brought back passion to the game. A renowned commentator was strongly criticized for saying that the coaches’ decorum brought back the “man’s game”. Another view, expressed online, was that it was a shameful mark of immaturity which set a poor example for players and fans.
How are you doing with your anger at home, work, school or at play? What is your reputation like in this area? I am most likely to lose my cool with my children. It is with them that I must learn patience, gentleness and self-control. My anger is less likely to be on the side of godly indignation, so I am relying on divine grace to move me towards wholeness and holiness in this aspect of my character.
Anger must be managed
Rearrange the letters in “anger” and you’ll get “range”. Strive to keep your anger within a righteous range.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.