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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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LIVING IN AN AGE OF RAGE

Our nation has been shocked once again by an act of violence that seems beyond belief.  A few weeks ago, at a hockey rink in the Boston suburb of Reading, Massachusetts, 42 year old Thomas Junta became enraged when his young son took an elbow to the face while playing hockey.  Junta confronted 40 year old Michael Costin who was skating with his two sons.  An argument erupted.  While all the details are not yet completely clear, newspaper stories described Junta, a 270-pound truckdriver, sitting abreast the 170 pound Costin and banging his head on the concrete floor.  What is clear is that Costin died in a local hospital of a cerebral hemorrhage the day after the fight.  A tragic incident has once again reminded us that our world desperately needs more warm hearts and fewer hot heads.  We are living in an age of rage- road rage, fan rage, air rage, and now we can add sports rage to the list.  And people in our homes and schools and communities are dying because of human anger and uncontrolled rage.

The Bible seeks to warn us about the danger of uncontrolled anger.  Ecclesiastes7:9 (New Living Translation) comes right to the point when it says, "Don't be quick-tempered, for anger is the friend of fools.' Ephesians 4:26-27 charges us- 'Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil." People who fly into a rage almost always make a bad landing.  Colley Cibber punches home an important truth concerning anger with this powerful little piece of prose- "He that strives not to stem his anger's tide, Does a wild horse without a bridle ride.  " No meter on earth could measure the harm that is done in our world by uncontrolled anger.  Many an innocent child or mate or driver or student has suffered unreasonably at the hands of one who has a "short fuse."

How do we control our own anger in an age of rage?  Some would suggest that you count to ten, but the Bible would direct us to look to the cross.  As the hostile, rage-filled men who orchestrated His death blasphemed and insulted Jesus, Luke 23:34 tells us He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus did not kill an angry man.  Jesus shows as the way to deal with our anger as we live in an age of rage.  The power to cool down doesn't come from counting to ten or from flying off the handle.  As always, it comes from staying on the cross.

Dan Gulley,
Smithville, TN