Stop Drop Roll
Lana Waters Liu
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “Do not murder, and anyone
who murders will be subject to judgment.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry
with his brother will be subject to judgment (Matthew 5: 21-22a).
I don't know about you, but this scripture kind of bothers me. How could Jesus say anger is as bad as murder?
So let's think this through, ok?
Say it's 8 AM. You're driving to work on 15/501. Suddenly, some fool cuts in front of you. You slam on the brakes, managing to only slightly hit his bumper. He springs from his car, lambasting you for hitting him. (Pause here to let this sink in.)
Now rewind a couple hours to 6 AM. As you pull out of your driveway you discover you have a flat. Fuming that the neighborhood builders have again left nails lying around, you impatiently change your tire.
Notice that you were already primed to be really angry when, two hours later, the “fool” cut you off.
Maybe Jesus' point is that a seemingly innocuous response to a relatively minor incident (the flat tire) can prime us for a major blow-up of a response later on—a response that could even cause major injury to another (potential road rage).
As we know, anger can cause problems. Whether we let it boil, keep it simmering, or pretend we have turned off the heat, anger tends to burst into flames at some point.
We live in an upside down world where anger seems to be burning everywhere. Angry people anger people who anger angry people. Anger is catching.
To live right-side up in such a world, we can Stop Drop Roll when the fire bursts into flames. Better yet, we can do so before it bursts into flames.
Stop in our tracks. (Stop our train of angry thought.) Drop to our knees. (Remember our God.) Roll it over on Jesus. (Entrust Him with it.)
If our anger is quenched while still a small fire, we won't be walking around all fired up the next time anger flares. When we don't respond in anger, the “fool” may be surprised into quitting his own anger. We will have helped both ourselves and another person whom God loves. We will probably have helped many more down the line, too.
Questions to ask ourselves:
What is my relationship with anger?
When has my anger started small but grown? How could Stop Drop Roll have changed that situation?