"put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander,…and put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of the Creator. " (Col.3.8-10). 'Wasps have been an absolute pest this year,' said a hardworking housewife as she finished her autumn jam making. Insects did seem to have enjoyed the long hot summer and autumn, especially butterflies on the buddleia. 'But what good are wasps?' pursued the frustrated housewife as the little beast buzzed around her head.
Like all God's creatures wasps fit into a wonderfully balanced system but human behaviour spoils that balance, making us feel that certain organisms are a nuisance. But a Christian brother who is an expert on mini-beasts (an entomologist) says that they should be treated gently and it works. Anger and animosity have probably been the biggest single factor in man's failure to be friends with many in the animal world. They create fear, distrust and conflict.
Is that not so in human relationships also? In home and school, factory and office, on roads and in sporting events people get angry with each other and friendships are tarnished. It happens in churches and Christian communities. We allow the old human nature to spoil the "image of the Creator".
Paul says that we must take off the old nature and put on the new, as with a coat. It is a radical removal of that which we have inherited from Adam. We can't just cover over the old nature; we need a fresh start. The Christian faith alone is able to do that. If we feel angry with someone, a boss, a teacher, a neighbour, the most effective way to change attitudes is to pray for the one we feel angry about and for ourselves that God will give us a warm heart of gentle patience and we shall find our anger evaporates.