Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 27 : Beware of Leaven | Day 186

Solve the Mystery of Anger!

The phone rang. When I answered it, I listened to the desperate plea of a grieving father. "Would you please help my 17-year-old daughter? She just ran away from home!" Later, I was able to contact the daughter. She was eager to talk with me and willing to answer my questions. When I asked her if there were things she would like to change about her father, she quickly replied "His anger! When things don't go as he wants them to, he becomes very upset and angry."

I questioned the father about his anger, and he readily admitted that it was a problem. He told me, "I have really been trying to deal with my anger and have even attended two of your Anger Resolution Seminars, but nothing seems to work."

Sadly, this father is not alone. The problem of anger is widespread and is destroying marriages, families, and many other vital relationships.

Leaven and wrath have similar characteristics: both create heat and turbulence through constant agitation.

During my conversation with the daughter I asked, "Does your father ever say one thing and then do something different?" She replied, "Yes! He will not allow us to watch television, but he will rent movies and watch them behind closed doors in his den."

This double standard created unnecessary tension in the family as the father became over-critical and reactionary towards his children and as the children reacted to the inconsistency in their father's life.

When the message of our mouths and the message of our lives contradict each other, we are living in hypocrisy.

How does the leaven of hypocrisy lead to anger? King David's adultery with Bathsheba provides some insight. The prophet Nathan came to him and presented a case of injustice in which a rich man who had many sheep stole a poor man's only pet lamb and served it for dinner to a traveling guest. Because of his own unconfessed sin and guilt, David overreacted to the offense Nathan had described and demanded that the thief pay much greater restitution than the Law required. Nathan then powerfully confronted David with his sin by stating, “Thou art the man” (II Samuel 12:7).

Often, anger toward others can be a signal that we have unconfessed sin and hypocrisy in our lives. If this is the case, we need to humbly confess our sin to God as David did when he said, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight … . Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:4, 10).

Let's humble ourselves by asking those who are closest to us if there are areas of inconsistency in our lives that we need to confess and make right. By removing these traces of leaven from our lives we can conquer a source of anger that is often overlooked.

“Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard