© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
20 Burning Anger Which Kindles Rage By Phil Scovell I used to always say, and was quite proud of it, too, that it took a lot to make me mad. When I did get mad, it was over in seconds and I was fine. Somehow, and for some reason, I thought this was a good Christian character trait to have. Besides, I never got mad often. I felt as if I had my anger under control, you see, and the fact that I never stayed mad, well, that proved that anger wasn't a problem for me. Boy, was I wrong. Most people, yes, Christians, too, have a problem with anger. Oh, we express it in different ways and for different reason, but regardless, it is anger even if we don't know how to identify it. Sometimes anger is express by being sad and sometimes by being mad but either way, it is anger. Manifested guilt can trigger anger. Condemnation, fear, shame, resentment, and just about anything you can name allows anger to surface in various ways. Just depression itself can trigger anger. I know what some of you are thinking, and that is, "isn't some type of anger a good thing, or at least, naturally expressed?" Since we are human, even if we are born again Christians, something that someone says to use can, of course, create what feels like a natural anger. It is hard to differentiate what might be called natural and would be abnormal. So let me explain both in one story. A few years ago, and I have written about this elsewhere on my website so you can read about if you are of a mind, my daughter was a meth addict. She basically lived on the streets. I finally got tired of always calling a half a dozen places, leaving messages for her to call, and I eventually told her that under no circumstances could she keep her two boys with her any longer. I additionally told her I would legally take them from her if she didn't leave them with us. This was the result of one morning when one of her boys called, using his mom's cell phone, and said he and his brother were hungry and couldn't find anything to eat. I discovered she was sleeping with a bartender at his house. I finally got the boys to put their mother on the phone but they said she kept falling back to sleep and couldn't get up. She was sleeping off a meth high. She eventually answered the phone but by this time, I was hot. I was mad, angry, you might say, due to the unsafe situation of my grandsons. I made things quite clear to her and she did start leaving the boys with their grandparents. However, the anger I expressed didn't go away but deepen. One 4TH of July, she promised her two boys that she would come home and share in the celebrations and fireworks afterwards. She never showed. She never even returned any of the many calls we put out for her. My anger balloon. I went to bed angry, never a good idea under any circumstances, besides, this was normal anger. Right? Regardless, the little boys had been cheated once again. Years later, I discovered my anger was still there. One evening, as I prayed about my anger toward my daughter, the Lord revealed the source. It was 11 years earlier the first time my daughter ran away. The Enemy took advantage of the anger I had at that time and established a strong hold in my life. Over the years, I still saw the evidence of anger than often stood on the very edge of rage. This bothered me greatly as a Christian. I began praying and asking the Lord. I am referring to anger that develops into rage to the point you might punch a whole in a wall, preferably missing the stud, throw something against the wall or on to the floor, driving your car over 100 miles an hour and taking a 45 mile an hour curve, kicking a chair to pieces, or even more serious acts of violence. As I prayed, I asked the Lord to take me to the first event where I displayed such deep anger and rage in my life. I was positive there was no such place in my life and what I was experiencing was normal but under Biblical and Christian control. Almost instantly, I saw myself in the family car, mom backing out of our gravel driveway, when I remembered that I had not locked up my new bicycle. I told mom and she stopped the car. I jumped out and ran to the tool shed where I had been parking my new bike. I opened the door to the shed, ran to my bike, unlocked the padlock hanging from the seat and attempted to bolt my bike to our table saw. Something wasn't working right and I was having trouble getting the lock to snap close. Without warning, anger flared in my mind, and I stood up and began making small animal like sounds as I repeatedly kicked the padlock until, to my amazement, it broke into several pieces. I hurried out of the tool shed and back to the car. Later, my mom would buy me a much stronger and better made padlock for my new bike my uncle had purchased for me following my dad's death. As I looked at this memory, feeling the anger rise, my loss of self control, and even the animal sounds I made as I kicked violently at the malfunctioning lock, it didn't seem all that harmless any longer. I was, to say the least, a little amazed at such a strong display of anger because I had never once done any such thing in my life until then. "Lord, that was pretty bad," I admitted, "but I don't see how this is the origin of my anger." I knew, of course, this display of rage would have been the perfect time for a demon to step into the picture and speak a lie so I prayed and asked the Lord, if such were the case, the Lord would reveal the presence of the lying spirit and what he said to me at that time. Nothing happened in the memory and it all stayed the same. That was odd because I was sure, as had happened so many other times, this would be the perfect point for a lying spirit to implant some type of a lie in my thinking. I heard and felt nothing. I focused on the memory, letting the feelings intensify, because I recognized this display of anger wasn't natural, and asked the Lord, "Where did this anger come from, Lord?" I suddenly saw a teenage neighbor who lived down the street. I scanned many of the memories I had of this 16 year old boy come to mind and there were several. Dan was funny. All the kids liked him and looked up to him. He was the first kid in the neighborhood to get his own motorscooter and he even gave us rides around the block. When he got his first car shortly thereafter, a junker to be sure, he was always working on it. It was a convertible and Danny bought spare tires from the junkyard because he burned so much rubber at every corner, tires never lasted very long. We were all 5 and 6 years younger than Danny but when he let us, we followed him everywhere and he never seemed to mind. I fondly remember the day he and some friends decided to convert his car into an on-the-floor 3-speed stick shift. They worked on it all day. It was summer and they were still working on it when the street lights came on that night. Danny got all of us to help push his car back from the garage where they had been working on it all day. We finally got it pushed into the street, Danny started the engine and tried to get the gears to synchronize. It wasn't working so he yelled for us to keep pushing him down the street as he tried to mesh the gearing. You never heard such horrible grinding in your whole life as that old ugly olive green car slowly rolled down the dark street and under the bright street light. No, they never got it working that night but eventually they did and Dan became the hot rod king of the neighborhood; burning rubber for several yards around every corner. Of course, when your tires are bald, you do a lot of slipping before you gain any traction. "Lord?" I queried, "What does Danny have to do with the first memory event? I don't get it." "Think more about Danny. What else do you remember about him," the Holy Spirit encouraged me in my thoughts as I focused on praying. Then I saw it. Danny had a temper. It took him awhile to get mad but when he did, he became very destructive. One day, his brother, Ron, who was in my grade at school, and I went down to their basement to play ping pong. I think this was my first time playing against my schoolmate because they had just gotten the table installed recently. Ron took the other end of the table and as I picked up the paddle at my end, I noticed my end of the ping pong table was marred and chipped and fragments of wood were literally broken off. I looked at my paddle and it was marred and chipped, too. "What happened down here, Ron?" I asked; puzzled. "Oh, that's Danny's end of the table. Every time he misses the ball, and especially when he loses, he beats that end of the table with his paddle. That's why we always make him play from that end so he doesn't completely ruin the table." I remember laughing, as did Ron, Danny's younger brother, because we always thought Dan's display of anger, and fits of rage, was put on, that is, he really wasn't mad but just playing like he was. We were wrong. As I walked around through my childhood memories, I remember many other times Dan showed off his anger and rage. Still, I wasn't convinced this had anything to do with me and I told the Lord as much. Then I remembered. Ron and I were playing basketball one day. He had a hoop hanging over the main entrance to the garage and we played basketball a lot. The Lord showed me something I had not understood at the time. I had noticed Dan was gone for awhile. I asked Ron about it and he said, "Oh, he is at a school." It was summer so I figured Danny was in summer school but I still didn't understand because he wasn't coming home nights. Ron explained it was a special school. That's probably what Ron's parent told him. Ron's dad came out and we stopped shooting baskets. His dad wanted to get something out of the garage so we walked into the garage with him. During the short time we were in the single car garage, Ron's dad was digging around in some boxes and moving things around as he hunted for whatever it was he wanted. In one box, as we watched, he pulled back an oily grimy rag. He uncovered an off white plaster form of a skeleton head with its empty eye sockets and toothy grin peaking out at us. We all laughed. Ron's dad was a funny man and we all liked him a lot. He said, "Well, hello Dan. I guess your back. You are looking much better than when you left. How have you been, son?" Ron and I laughed and laughed and returned to playing basketball once his dad had returned to the house. "Do you understand now?" I heard God's thoughts in mine. "Yes, I said. Danny was on medication, I remember now, for his anger and depression. I remember hearing the adults discussing it or something," I said. "He was at a mental health facility for his depression and rage." "That's right," the Lord confirmed. This anger you are looking for came from Danny." I had no doubt believing what I had just seen and heard in my thoughts through my memories. Danny's rage was no act. They had hospitalized him trying to gain control of his depression. I no longer needed to see a demonic manifestation of a lying spirit because I knew they had to have been there. Danny was like a hero to me. My sharpest and most gratifying memory of Dan was the day he was working on his motorscooter. The chain kept coming off and he was trying to adjust the tension. "Wanna ride to test this chain out, Scov?" he asked. "Sure!" I said with honest enthusiasm. Dan had never asked me before, although he had given other kids rides in the neighborhood. He probably figured my folks wouldn't have allowed it. I didn't bother saying, "I should go ask my mom first." Instead, I helped him turned the scooter around, climbed on behind his seat, and listened to the engine as Dan fired the machine up. He slowly rolled out of the driveway, turning right, and headed down toward my elementary school. He drove several blocks around the neighborhood. Eventually, he seemed satisfied the chain was working properly so we headed home. Driving passed the school, he stopped at a busy street and waited till the light changed. Twisting the throttle hard, he tried to lay rubber as we turned out on to the four lane busy street. The scooter gathered speed and Dan pushed the low gear to the limit. The motor wound up to a high pitch and at the right moment, he slammed the gear shift into second gear. The chain instantly fell off and with the chain dragging on the ground, he allowed the bike to coast. As it lost momentum, he pulled into a parking lot. We both jumped off and Dan kicked the kickstand down. He then threaded the chain back into place and we climb aboard. He didn't try any more burns the rest of the way home. I talked about my ride with friends for weeks. I was bonded to Dan that day, in some respects, and I knew in my heart, I wanted to be just like him when I grew to be his age. There was my lie; I was like Dan. After the Lord showed me the connection, I prayed against the unholy bond that had been developed during childhood. Does this mean I no longer get mad or angry? Of course not. The anger I expressed concerning my daughter was legitimate but allowing it to expand gave place to the Enemy to work against me and so he did. Any time I get mad or angry in any way, I begin looking to see if their is a source. There are many areas of exposure we face as Christian which anger is used to throw up a wall of protection. It masks the true nature of the fear we really feel deep down inside. As I mentioned before, there is a natural anger but few ever recognize the difference. God does. Do you?