Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anger "Management," Part Three: Case Study III

(Missed Parts One and Two?)

Anger: Case Study III    Haman, Esther 3
The Background
Haman had it made in the shade.  With lemonade.  And gatorade, and kool-aid.  (*grin*)  Really, though!  King Ahasuerus had just given Haman a promotion, and it was a big one--he set Haman above even the princes in his kingdom!  If that wasn't enough, Ahasuerus commanded all of his servants to bow down to Haman and to bestow reverence upon him.  Haman was lovin' life.  He was IN with the King, and the possibilities were endless!
Until Mordecai entered the picture. 

Mordecai was a Jew, and he was a God-pleaser.  He refused to bow to Haman, or to anybody else, for that matter (and rightfully so!).  When Haman's henchmen observed this, they ran straightaway to tattle.  Haman had to see it for himself. 

And Haman became angry.  FULL of anger, in fact.  Verse 6 tells us just how angry:  Haman was so angry at Mordecai for not bowing down, that simply killing Mordecai wasn't enough.  He decided then and there that he would destroy "all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus."  Wow.  Now THAT is an anger problem! 

The Heart Issue
Haman's heart issue was pride.  This one hits home, friends.  Pride is the root for many, many sins...but especially for anger.  Haman thought he was really Something Special, and Mordecai didn't give him the reverence which he thought he deserved.  To make matters worse, Mordecai had publicly embarrassed him.  Nothing fans the flames of anger like public embarrassment, right?

:::Making it Personal:::
You know, sometimes I wear the Mommy label like a martyr.  "Woe is me, I got sixteen seconds of sleep last night, and I can't even go to the bathroom by myself, and I haven't had a hot meal in four years...." 
But sometimes...

...sometimes I wear the Mommy label like a Haman.  "I am your Mother and therefore YOU MUST REVERE ME!  I am sanctioned by The King as your Big Bad Authority and SO-HELP-ME-IF-YOU-THROW-A-TANTRUM-RIGHT-HERE-IN-THIS-GROCERY-STORE-IN-FRONT-OF-ALL-THESE-PEOPLE-YOUNG-LADY!"  Oh, and don't you even get me started on misbehaving in front of The Church FolksHow embarrassing.  *ahem*

How sinfully, woefully often I've been angry over my children's behavior because it has brought personal, public embarrassment to me.  As though it were all about me in the first place.  Instead, I must be concerned with how their sinful hearts have grieved a holy God.

Sadly, Haman pinned a bull's eye on Haman's chest--er, neck--and never looked back. 

The Result of Proud Anger
Well.  This story is too dramatic and fascinating to recount all of the details here.  Read it for yourself when you get a few minutes.  Suffice it to say that Haman's evil plan for Mordecai came crashing down around him.  And God, ever faithful, preserved His people, as per the usual.

"Pride goeth before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall."  Proverbs 16:18

Lord, change me!


Mary Ann said...

wow. Excellent thoughts. I echo your prayer, "Lord, change me!"