June 11, 2013 5 Comments
The History Channel has been rocking it with their line of miniseries lately. Recently we watched one of their newest ones, Hatfields & McCoys on Netflix.
If you’re unfamiliar with the true story, it’s about two families divided by the border of Kentucky and West Virginia, who commit one crime after another against each other like a tennis match gone foul. The crimes are usually murders and each one intensifies with hatred, heartlessness, and malicious intent.
Though the story never falters nor grows dull, you end up throwing your hands up in hopelessness for these mad Appalachian Mountain people who seem to have nothing better to do than to plan their next vengeful act to fan the flames on their family rivalry.
(I’d like to point out that the huge shocker is that Kevin Costner, who stars as the patriarch of the Hatfield clan actually can act! – Who’d have known??)
But as you throw your hands up in disgust over these people, you have to stop and wonder – am I like this? Even a little?
Is there anyone you hate, or even dislike a tad? Maybe your boss, an old friend, a coworker, or family member?
I know I’ve got my list of people whom I’d rather not associate with either because of something they’ve done to me or simply because I just can’t stand them.
And there I am, suddenly. Stepping foot on the same trail as the Hatfields and McCoys blazed 150 years ago. You need only to watch the news to see that this same thing still happens today. Sandy Hook, 9/11, Dark Knight shooting…
I’m not talking about family feuds, but unmanaged anger festering inside inconsolable individuals or groups of people.
Here’s the thing. There is no limit to what evils people will commit. And it all starts with anger, hatred, a carelessness for God.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I have temper issues in the car. I prefer the streets to be empty when I’m driving so I don’t have to deal with anyone else. (Guess I didn’t learn much about sharing when I was little.)
But who’s to say that anger doesn’t translate into the home when Sarabeth or one of the dogs causes a minor infraction against me? If I can’t control my anger in the car, by myself, then how can I control it at home? At work? At Target, when someone crashes into my cart after turning the corner?
When we give in to anger, at anytime, we carve out a stepping stone for the devil to place his foot into our lives. And he will take that step, and we will likely carve out another, and another, and we are simply inviting the demons into our hearts, our mouths, and our lives whenever we give into anger. And because we’re human, born with evil tendencies, there’s no telling what we will do in our anger.
I’m sure if you had asked the Hatfields or McCoys what sort of legacy they would want to leave behind, neither of them would say that they dreamed of being remembered as insane villans who dedicated their lives to a mini civil war in the backwoods against their neighbors.
Yet, because they couldn’t – or wouldn’t – let go of their petty anger issues, that’s what they’re remembered for today. And we’re hard-pressed to pity any of them, save the women and children who were the victims.
What about you? Do you want to be remembered as someone who was able to stay in control when opposing circumstances got in your way? Or would you rather be remembered as having a loose tempter, a short fuse, and being a bear to be around?
I have to work hard at keeping my temper under control. And I don’t always succeed, and I’m ashamed of it. But watch this mini series, and you’ll learn a valuable lesson on the topic, as I did. Be advised that the three-episode miniseries contains frequent violence and brief, censored, sexuality.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:26-31