Episode 1. Wrath
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You don’t have to look very far to figure out that anger is something that’s hitting society in plague proportions. Everybody seems to be angry. Anger is one of the seven deadly sins. And it’s …
You don’t have to look very far to figure out that anger is something that’s hitting society in plague proportions. Everybody seems to be angry. Anger is one of the seven deadly sins. And it’s still deadly.
Every now and then we all get angry, we just do. It’s a natural human emotion, in fact, you read a bit about God in His word, the Bible, and you discover God gets angry. Jesus became so angry he made a whip and drove the money changers and the traders out of His Father’s house, the Temple of God in Jerusalem.
So anger is natural, it happens when one person wrongs another person and yet, if we let anger get the better of us, if we live constantly in anger, it’s pretty ugly.
I have a dear friend and his particular weakness is anger. In fact, I have to say, I used to be a very angry person and you know something, if we’re angry all the time we just can’t enjoy life. In fact, angry people can’t easily have relationships with other people.
Angry people, well they tend to be very lonely people because no-one trusts them. People don’t know when they’re going to be on the end of that next angry outburst. Anger may well be justified, although often it’s not, but if that’s where we live all the time, it’s really very ugly.
Today, as always, anger is a particularly deadly sin.
Berni: What do you reckon Keith?
Keith: It is Berni; nobody wants to be around an angry person. They’re very threatening and we try and avoid being around them and you would think the leader personality would be the one that would have the anger, the most anger.
Berni: Yeah, you would, I mean because the leader is a sort of personality that’s driving towards a conclusion and would get frustrated with people who don’t come along.
Keith: That’s right but it’s outside anger right, so they voice it to anybody or anything that gets in their way because they want to get rid of them. But the anger we’re talking about today, in terms of the 7 deadly sins, is an internal anger, right. It’s given to the, for instance, the prophet.
The prophet is likely to be angry because they can see justice or they can see what’s fair or what’s right, have integrity and things aren’t correct. They’re very black and white people, the prophet.
Berni: Now explain a prophet to me. By the way Keith Henry’s joining me this week; I forgot to tell people that you were joining me Keith. Keith’s a bit of a guru, he’s done a bit of, quite a bit of study haven’t you, about personality types and particular strengths and weaknesses, that’s your gig isn’t it?
Keith: It is, for about 10 years, studied that and talk on that but getting back to the prophet here Berni, the prophet is a particular personality type, next door to the leader I call them because they are managers, they can manage.
Keith: Not the leader who breaks down the wall and leads the team out, they’re actually the manager who can manage with integrity, right and that’s the important thing; a prophet has integrity.
Berni: A sort of gyroscope of right and wrong.
Keith: Exactly, there’s only one right way, there’s only one wrong way therefore there’s no shades of grey.
Berni: I relate to that a little bit.
Keith: Well it’s next door to you.
Keith: Right, in personality but when we talk about anger here, both the prophet and the leader come from will, they’re strong willed people. But the will and the anger for the leader goes outward, against anything, the anger we’re talking about here, the deadly sin, is internal in the prophet.
Berni: It’s a seething anger.
Keith: It is and can build resentment.
Berni: Yeah that would be very destructive, wouldn’t it?
Keith: It can be very destructive. Not only for them but also, if they start letting it out to … you know “you’re not doing it right, you must do it this way” type of attitude; well it puts people down very much.
Berni: We all kind of know people who seethe away and seethe way and bubble away and all of a sudden explodes, is that what happens here with that sort of anger?
Keith: Yes it is, it is a bubbling away anger, it’s an internal anger and because they only, as I said, they only see one right, one wrong therefore you must do it that way. I’ve got a good example here actually, there’s 1 person I know who covers books right.
Keith: At a school and they cover them very diligently, they’re a prophet personality and there’s only one way to cover a book.
Berni: The right way isn’t it?
Keith: It’s the right way and it is perfect, it’s the best book cover you ever see. We actually happened to import and sell a book covering machine that can do 80 books an hour, would never even look at it because it’s not perfect they way that they can do it. So, would never consider it, that they could actually free the school up, to get all the books covered.
Keith: They would rather take them home at night and keep doing it because there’s only one way to do it.
Berni: Yeah, yeah, the right way and of course the hard thing with that is, the rest of the world doesn’t function that way. The rest of the world does what the rest of the world wants to do and so this must eat away at the prophet type personality because the prophet type personality is the person that wants to speak out the right way.
And if you look at the prophets of old in the Old Testament, the prophets were the people who called Gods people back to God again. Who pointed out the things that they were doing wrong. So that’s the prophet’s natural inclination. So you’ve got this bubbling away and you can see how it would hurt them inside. What does the prophet do with this?
Keith: How do they overcome it?
Keith: They have to stop working in their own integrity or virtue right, they’re saying it must be done this way, that’s the way it should be done. They have to look at the integrity of Gods word. In other words, not be selfish about ‘I want this way because that’s the only right way’, they actually have to open themselves up to see it as God sees it. So they have to have the integrity, they’re integrity people, but they have to have the integrity of God, not of themselves.
Berni: Anger itself is not a sin is it? I mean, Paul writes in Ephesians 4, verse 26:
Be angry but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
So it seems what he’s saying is, we’re all going to get angry, God gets angry but what’s wrong about it is letting it bubble away and bubble away and bubble away.
Keith: Yes and there’s a righteous anger but the righteous is according to God not according to your own selfishness.
Keith: The prophet has a very righteous anger but who’s righteousness is it?
Berni: Okay so let’s imagine that, that I’ve got the problem, I’m the prophet, I can see things very black and white and I see the right way and I’m burning with anger, inside at these people who aren’t doing it my way, who aren’t doing it the right way and after all my ways the only right way.
Berni: Right, so exactly what can I do with a person that’s driving me nuts today?
Keith: The only way is to have some empathy with them and to take time to be a teacher. They have to have patience which is the teacher right, the teacher has to have patience and they, even though they’re on the other side, they actually have to take time to be patient with that person and to teach them and to show them there’s a right way of doing it.
Berni: Okay because it’s almost like sharing the right way.
Keith: It is.
Berni: And in that, learning a little bit from the other person as well.
Berni: ‘Cause I guess the process of sharing and all of a sudden we discover that there are some other ways of doing things and some better ways of doing things maybe than the ones we thought were the only way.
Keith: They have a closed mind. I’ve got a son who’s a prophet and when he was studying at school, for the High School Certificate, he would put, do 2-hour blocks and maybe half a dozen in a day, 2 hour blocks. They’re so disciplined right, they are and they have such high integrity that they actually have to realise there is another life.
Berni: There is another life and the way of stepping outside this is to take the time to work with people and to share with people. Keith, that’s really good. Listen, tomorrow we’re going to look at the last of these 7 deadly sins which is envy.