As a kid, I loved to watch the various Godzilla movies. I can still recall watching the original film, on television. Godzilla would walk through Tokyo and cause widespread destruction. What do you expect from an oversize lizard.
This was one character, I wouldn’t want to see angry. If angered, Tokyo would often be on the receiving end. Godzilla was especially known for spewing out a fiery radioactive breath.
Last week, I read Paul Tripp’s “How to Be Good and Angry“. Paul paints a picture of two angry men. The first was driven by a destructive anger that instills fear in the people around him. The second is angry at sin. This man was filled with compassion for the people, around him and was driven by passion to do something.
I was intrigued by this and prayed about it. As I was talking with my Father, about this article, I could hear a voice calling out “Hey Godzilla! It’s time to go home! Tokyo is calling.” I laughed in response and got it.
Did you ever notice that Godzilla took very little notice of the destruction that he causes? In the original movie, the guy would just plow right on through. According to Paul, the first man showed a similar pattern of behaviors. The man took very little or no notice of the terror he causes.
Here is another comparison to the jolly green giant lizard. What was Godzilla’s most powerful weapon? Here is a hint. It came out of his mouth! This monster would just blast his opponents with his fiery radioactive breath.
Overkill? Here is what James says in James 3-10:
3-5A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
5-6It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.
7-10This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
James was describing the destructive power of our tongues. Often, it is done in anger or without thoughts. While we can see the destruction caused by Godzilla; we rarely think of the destruction caused by our own anger. I, for one, certainly did not think of the destruction caused by my anger.
Like Godzilla, I would just go on a tear, when I was angered by school bullies. I didn’t think of how my anger affected other people. I certainly didn’t consider what came out of my mouth. What about you?
Did my human anger help? No. The bullies kept coming and were not deterred. I was just too entertaining and likely served as a distraction. My anger did not solve my problems; rather it fed the problem.
Here is what James 1:19-21 says:
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
It is true, a man’s anger can never bring about God’s righteousness. Yet, James does not say, “Don’t get angry!” What did James say? We are to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.
Paul puts it this way,
26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. [Ephesian 4:26-27]
I could have used that advice! In both cases, I am told that it’s okay to be angry. However, I’m not to sin in my anger or give the enemy, a door of opportunity. In Paul Tripp’s article, the author describes two angry men.
The second man could be best described as a man consumed with passion. The man’s anger fueled his passion for justice, mercy and compassion. Here is a key. The second man is characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Sound familiar?
If not, try reading Galatians 5:22-23:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The second man illustrated a godly anger at sin. His anger did not blind him, to the needs of the people. He cared about the people, who are hurt by his actions or others. The second man’s anger was governed by the fruits of the Spirit.
If the second guy’s anger is governed by the Holy Spirit then what of the first man? Here is what Scripture says of the first man’s anger:
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [Galatians 5:19-21]
What’s governing your anger? I’ve had to ask myself, this question. Anger is a human emotion and it’s okay. Here’s the key: Who is the anger directed at? Is it, at a human being or is it at sin? What’s fueling it? Is it our carnal nature governing our anger?
If so, Tokyo is calling.