By Allen White
For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife. Proverbs 30:33
The Slow Food Movement is gaining momentum across the U.S. and around the world. People are making the connection -- treating plants with poison leads to eating poison, and giving antibiotics and hormones to animals leads to people eating the same. Our food is making us sick.
Now, if you have some great argument in favor of Food Inc, please send your comments to email@example.com. (This is not a real email address, but please feel free to send your complaints there.)
The Slow Food folks believe what we put into our bodies affects our bodies. They prefer organic, grass-fed, free range, cage free, hormone free and overall more natural foods. Don’t be mistaken. They don’t advocate eating cardboard – those are the weight loss people. (Please send your complaints to the email address above).
When it comes to food, we are what we eat. If we put the right things into our bodies, we tend to be healthy. If we put the wrong things in, we can become unhealthy. It’s simple cause and effect.
Solomon applied this principle to other common practices. If you churn milk, you get butter. While we may be eating healthier, few of us are back to churning butter…yet. If you can get milk worked up enough, it will produce butter – not margarine, not fake butter, but the real thing.
If you twist your nose, it will bleed. If you don’t believe me, then go ahead and try this at home. Have a towel handy and maybe some ice. If you try this on another person, then you’ll end up with two effects from this verse – blood and strife.
Anger produces strife. According to the dictionary, strife is “vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism.” Strife is getting someone stirred up for sure.
Now, milk is not volatile. If you stir chocolate syrup into milk, you get chocolate milk, not chocolate butter. If you twist your nose slightly, you might look funny, but you probably won’t bleed. But, keep the towel handy. When you continually activate anger, you antagonize the other person and cause on-going conflict.
I say “active” anger, because I learned from Dr. Archibald Hart years ago that anger is only a present emotion. We don’t store anger up in some vast reserve to be released. If that was the case, we would feel better after we lashed out at someone. That just doesn’t happen.
The Bible tells us, “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26) and when we do get angry we need to resolve things before sunset. We shouldn’t carry the results of anger over into the next day.
Anger isn’t sinful. Anger is an emotion just like happiness, sadness or any other emotion. How we use anger can result in sin.
If we continually keep ourselves worked up over something that happened long ago, we are probably entering into sin. If we can’t get past an issue or forgive someone, we’ve also violated some Scriptural principles like Colossians 4:32.
Much of our anger comes from fear. We become upset when we’re afraid. So, here’s the exercise for today. Set aside a few minutes and ask yourself these two questions:
1. What am I angry about?
2. What am I afraid of?
If you can’t come up with a few answers right off the bat, then pray and ask God to reveal these answers to you.
After you have the answers, then begin to ask God to help you work through these issues. Read Scripture to give you a truthful perspective on your anger and fears. It can be transforming.
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