The Incredible Hulk is anger personified. He is a giant green monster that is always ready to burst out at any moment, when the situation and his internal frustrations cause him to lose control. I can relate to the Incredible Hulk, I struggle with these same difficulties every day, only I don’t turn into a giant green superhero as a result. Rather than using anger for good I find that my outbursts always negatively impact my professional and personal live.
Firstly we need to understand that anger is always a response to something else. We become angry when we experience something we don’t like, something unacceptable. ‘The only way we can understand anger is to look at those things we find unacceptable. And the way we discover those things that are unacceptable is to look at the things we love. We were created to love God most and best, but as sinners we value ourselves and the things that serve us more.’
What if we started to hulk out about those things that upset God? What if I started to get angry about MY OWN sinful shortcomings and see them for the unacceptable things they are? What if I used that as a catalyst for change? Not change like Bruce Banner and tear my clothes and alter my appearance, but to alter my heart, to tear away the inner sin that I keep secret and turn back, once again, to God. When my love for God is overshadowed by my love for myself I fail to see my sins and my anger is turned outward, to things that annoy or inconvenience me. When my love for God overshadows all else then those things that are mere inconveniences are opportunities to show God’s love rather than a catalyst for a Hulk explosion.
Most people think that, like Bruce Banner (the Hulk’s alter ego), they can’t physically resist their anger as it is too sudden to control. What is less commonly known about Bruce Banner is that over the years he has worked toward controlling his anger. You can too.
Pray that, the next time you feel the Hulk stirring within, you will stop and ask yourself these three simple questions:
- Why am I getting angry about this?
- Is it because I am being inconvenienced?
- Is it actually an opportunity to show God’s love?
Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13b “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Instead of being Hulk-like when there’s lego all over the floor or people are ignoring you, pray that we can stay Christ-like and love others more than we love ourselves.
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Jonathan Parnell Desiring God http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-war-of-love