A Lesson In Anger

Anger, for the most part, is a sin. It can be hard to control our tempers, but we can ask the Holy Spirit to come alongside us and help us in this area. The following short story can help us see how our anger affects others and our relationships with our fellow humans.

A father noticed one day that his young son had a problem with anger. The little boy got so mad and lashed out on everyone around him quite often. To help him, the father gave him a hammer and a bag of nails. He told him to hammer a nail into the back fence every time that he lost his temper. The first day the boy drove 38 nails into the fence. As the days passed, he hammered fewer and fewer nails into the fence every day. He found out it was easier to control his temper than to keep putting those nails into the fence. The day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it, and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

Finally, the boy was able to come to his father and tell him that all the nails were gone. The father took him by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say 'I'm sorry' the wound is still there."

We can all learn something from this short story. When we act out in anger, even if we apologize the damage has been done. We read over and over again that God is slow to anger, and we should be too.

"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love." Psalm 103:8

"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly." Proverbs 14:29