Anger, the Forgotten Sin

I walked up to the fringe of the green on the golf course recently to hit a chip shot. I had been having a rough hole and was starting to get agitated that I wasn’t playing as well as I wanted. My mind was wandering and I wasn’t focused. Instead of zoning in on this upcoming shot, my brain was focused on my last shot.

Hurriedly, I took one practice swing and then hit the ball. I chunked it. (That’s golf jargon. For the non-golfer, this simply means the ball went about one foot—not a great shot.) With steam racing out of my ears with anger, I slammed my club into the ground with all my strength and made a huge mark in the ground. I repaired it, of course, but the fact remained: I had just gotten way too angry.

After that, I continued to let my anger get the best of me. And yet—even while playing a round of golf—I felt the convicting urge of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing golf or driving—throwing a temper tantrum is sinful. Of course, not all anger is sin, as one can be righteously indignant. But that’s not I’m speaking to.

As I felt the brunt of conviction, I quietly repented. Sure, I was still upset I wasn’t playing well. But I had let my anger take control and forgot that God has graciously given me the chance to play the game I love. I am supposed to enjoy it, whether I shoot 70 or 90.

Friend, perhaps you’re not a golfer, but maybe you resonate with this in some other way. Don’t become angry over a mere game. Enjoy it. Anger can, many times, be the forgotten sin. It comes so natural to us, we need to be reminded that it’s sinful. Anger reveals a lack of trust in God, as we want to be in control—whatever the situation may be.

God has not called us to be angry. When we survey the cross—in all its glory, in all its majesty, in all its resplendence—there’s no room for anger, only joy.

Whatever you’re doing, keep your focus on the cross and anger will not be an issue.

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