By Pastor Tommy Rush, First Baptist Church
There’s a few things in my house that I have always had an uneasy feeling around. I’ve never felt comfortable working around an electrical box and I’ve always been a bit uneasy working on a gas hot water heater. A friend told me awhile back to drain my hot water heater about once a year and by doing that it would last much longer. I probably should have listened to him, because recently I came home to find rusty water running out of my utility room into my carport.
Every time I start thinking about draining the hot water heater I end up changing my mind. I guess I have visions of the tank blowing up and going through my roof. All hot water heaters have an important safeguard built into them called a pop-off valve. When excessive heat and steam build up too much pressure inside, the pop-off valve automatically blows and releases the pressure. When I read that warning label, something tells me to just leave it alone and let it rust.
Pop-off valves are great for hot water heaters, but not good for you and me when things are boiling on the inside of us. Explosions of anger never seem to end well. It’s sad to see so much anger in our world these days. Some say we are living in an unprecedented “age of rage.” Though I cannot do much about the anger in others, I can definitely trust Christ to help control my own. I pray my life will always be marked by grace. Many will leave only a legacy of anger to their family and co-workers when their gone. Some are called “Old Faithful” at work not because they show up everyday but because they blow up every day. It’s heartbreaking to know that many children see more anger in their home than love and grace.
Of course I need to emphasize that not all anger is bad. Anger is actually a God-given emotion and even the Lord Himself got angry at times, just always at the right thing, at the right time and in the right way. Anger can be a good thing if it moves us to action and energizes us to address a wrong that need to be made right. There are some things in this sin sick world that we need to be angry about. Sometimes we need the emotion of anger to stir us into motion! I like to say there are times when we all need to get “good and angry,” with an emphasis on the word “good.”
But always remember that anger like a loaded gun is very powerful. Millions of people have not only hurt themselves, but everyone around them with careless out of control anger. I’ve always been encouraged by Ephesians 4:26-27. “Be angry, yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” So get good and angry but be sure you keep an eye on the pop-off valve so others will get the good and not the anger.