The second volcano is dormant. Like the first one, it is also covered with lush vegetation and teeming with wildlife, but within it the magma has not cooled and solidified. Seemingly peaceful on the outside, one day it will erupt again with force and power, spewing out rocks and ash and destroying all that grows and lives nearby.
Vegetation and wildlife can’t be found on the third volcano, because it is active, constantly spewing sulfuric gasses and churning out hot lava that destroys everything in its path.
Anger is like a volcano. Heated frustration seethes within, and when let loose it will cause hurt and pain. Sometimes we let it show, like the active volcano, when we’re frustrated, annoyed, or feeling misunderstood. Hot, angry words spew from our mouths, hurting those we direct them at.
Other times we hold anger in, hesitating to communicate honestly about the things that frustrate or irritate us. Slowly the anger builds up, like the magma gradually building pressure within the belly of the dormant volcano, until one day we explode in anger, spouting off angry, hurtful words and acting in an unloving manner.
A verse in Proverbs says, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.” In the end, our anger places barriers between us and our loved ones, and we hurt ourselves most of all.
But the good news is that anger can be dispelled by letting God’s Spirit work in us, helping us to see things from His perspective and cooling the hot, magma-like spirit of anger.
The next time you feel anger rising, determine to neither hold it in or to explode. Take a deep breath. Wait before putting your grievance into words. Pray. Ask God to bring peace to your spirit. Eventually you may need to speak with the person who has upset you, but wait until you’ve calmed down and you can choose your words with care. Treat others as you would have them treat you, and you’ll be much happier.
Proverbs 14:29 ESV - Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV - Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 4:31 ESV – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.