The sounds of chewing and slurping were interrupted by the occasional, “So good!” Our usually noisy dinner table banter was silenced as our family enjoyed the baby back pork ribs, smoked for six hours on our Kamado smoker. Held low and slow at 225F, the pork soaked up the sweet flavors of the apple and cherry wood. As we were eating, an unusual flash arose from the Kamado on the patio. The coals, although nearly extinguished, found renewed vigor when I left the lid on the Kamado open. Within minutes, the coals reignited, and a raging fire engulfed the smoker. I quickly closed the lid, suffocating the blaze. Lesson learned. It was a stark reminder of the ease in which anger can easily be stoked to flare into a raging inferno of sin, ready to consume me and others.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
Psalms 37:8 (NASB)
The Hebrew word for fret literally means to glow or grow warm, to burn or kindle. It was frightening to see how quickly the dying coals were brought back to life. If I had not caught it in time, it may have started a fire with its surroundings. Anger is not a sin but given the right circumstances, like oxygen feeding the coals, one can easily lose control, igniting and resulting in a terrible sin. The near miss in traffic can escalate into road rage. The public humiliation by a business associate can lead to revenge. God knows this and wisely instructs us to not fret about anger, giving it an opportunity to lead to evil and sin. He even gives the very practical advice of not to go to bed angry!
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NASB)
God created us as emotional beings and anger is a part of us, just like sadness and happiness. It is rare to find a person who can control their anger and not sin. We must be wise to recognize the circumstances that give rise to anger and master it before we fret, and it masters us.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.