Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Anger Is"

Anger Is

By: Matthew Hawkins

Anger is fire in a dessert

it will disappoint you.

Anger is a flame in Hell

it tortures you.

Anger is a fight occurring

it will hurt you.

Anger is wearing a winter’s coat in summer

it will make you wish you hadn’t chosen it.

As I was walking down the 4th grade hall at Matthew's school I found this poem on the bulletin board outside his classroom. My first thought was that he had copied it from a book. I did not know that my son wrote poetry. I have always known that he was a deep thinker, but I did not know that those thoughts could come out in the form of poetry. I know I am his mother, but I was very impressed. I admit that when it comes to my children I am easily impressed, but then Matt read the poem. Matt is not easily impressed and this poem blew him away. We were both amazed at the depth of his understanding of anger. Anger does disappoint, it tortures you and those around you. Anger can hurt you. It can hurt others. It can cause bitterness. It can be a stronghold. I have to admit that my favorite line in the poem was the comparison of anger being like a winter's coat in the summer, you wish you hadn't chosen it. The implication here is that anger is something we put on. It is a choice. The wrong choice. To think about wearing a winter's coat in the summer makes me feel heavy, it makes me sweat, it makes me nauseous. It can cause dehydration and heat exhaustion. To be completely is stupid. You wish you hadn't chosen it. The same is true with anger. Anger is usually a choice made in haste. It does not come from sound, controlled, reasonable thinking. We make the choice from our own selfish rights and desires and after the damage is done we too wish we hadn't chosen it. Scripture says, "In your anger do not sin." Which implies that we can be angry as long as we don't sin. We are also told that Jesus was angry, with a righteous anger when he turned over the tables in the temple. Let's be honest, we as believers often use these scripture references to allow ourselves to be angry. If we were honest we would understand that more often than not our anger is not righteous and it is not without sin. It is so hard for us as mortal man to be angry and not sin. The line seems to be so cloudy. It is so much more beneficial for us to allow the fruit of the spirit to reign in our lives as we demonstrate self-control. I love that at the age of ten Matthew recognizes anger as a choice. He knows that it is possible not to choose it. He understands the far reaching repercussions it can have on our lives. He gets that our anger can torture us and hurt us. Wow! I wish I understood anger that well. Easily impressed mommy or profound truth from a ten year old. You decide.

Ephesians 4:31 NIV

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."

Colossians 3:8 NIV

"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips."

James 1:20 NIV

"for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires"


  1. God's timing is always perfect. I read and re-read your son's poem yesterday, having no idea what my evening would bring, and that his words would be a source of strength for me.
    Long story short, I was wrongly accused, and felt myself becoming angry...the classic, "I didn't do anything to deserve this!" response. And then I thought about your sons words....anger is something you chose and then later wish you hadn't.
    The outcome to my situation could have taken a turn south, but instead, by losing my (selfish) desires, and submiting to God's plan, I was able to apologize for any misunderstanding and have PEACE.

  2. Monica,

    I found your post on anger looking for some ideas to deal with it in my own life. I have struggled with anger all my life.

    The line in your son's poem, "Anger is wearing a winter’s coat in summer - it will make you wish you hadn’t chosen it," is such a powerful word picture.

    Thanks for the post - I am trusting the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in my life and allow them to be the remedy that neutralizes anger in my life. It's not fun wearing a winter coat in the summer.