By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
"The Hot Stove of Anger"
Have you ever wished someone didn't exist? This question hit home when Walter Mutti’s sermon delved into anger on July 16, 2023.
For me, it's a "yes." I was livid about something from 12 years prior. A mentor of mine had acted inappropriately toward my friends. It was so severe that our church imposed disciplinary action, and pressing charges could've led to prison. Afterward, he moved across the country, then again. We lost touch, but one day, I felt the urge to track him down. Part curiosity, part wanting him to acknowledge his actions—maybe a part of me wanting some revenge.
So, I made a call to him which turned out to be uneventful, but afterwards God's Spirit guided me to journaling my thoughts and forgiving him completely.
What I've recently grasped about negative emotions is I don't have to stay stuck. The Bible says "be angry, yet do not sin." I can feel emotions without letting them rule me. I don’t have to believe every lie my mind conjures about a person or situation.
The Bible also urges addressing anger before day's end. Negative emotions are like touching a hot stove—they alert me something's wrong, but I don't need to keep my hand there. I remove my hand because I've got the message.
Emotions matter; they're part of life. I need them, to feel them, but not to be overrun. I don't have to be trapped in my limited perspectives.
Learning to lean on God's Spirit for alerts when an emotion threatens to engulf me is eye-opening. I'm practicing capturing those thoughts, making them obedience to Christ.
I've realized a profound distinction between handling things in my mind and processing them with Christ's perspective, guided by His Spirit.
One path leads to misery, the other to joy. One to confusion, the other to wisdom. One to rumination, the other to liberation.
- Are you keeping your hand on the anger stove?
- Is it worth it?
- The pain fades as you release it to God. Ask Him how to handle the person or situation—He understands your feelings and knows what's best.