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  • by Rob Globke

    James 1:19-20
    Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

    The last part of this passage is something that has been on my mind recently. Well, both verses have been spinning circles in my coconut really, but the phrase, “anger of man” has especially got my brain working on overdrive. Particularly when it comes to the context of hockey.


    I have been told many times in my life throughout hockey that it’s good and ok to play with an “edge”. To play a little bit mean. Gritty if you will. You can even feel this sentiment when you listen to people or watch games on TV. There is something people like about a hockey player who plays a little bit angry. Most people see getting a little riled up a thing that will make us better hockey players in many ways (although not all!!). When you receive a big hit, get a little mad and give a big hit. When you are losing, let that anger you so much that you want to take someone’s head off the next game. When you get benched, get so fed up that all you want to do is prove the coaches wrong.


    I wonder how much of that anger is the anger of man vs. a righteous anger of God. A righteous anger which seeks to see justice done in the game. An anger that desires to be treated fairly. An anger that would want the game played within the rules. In some ways, this is a good anger…..


    BUT


    I think if I’m honest with myself, and you are honest with yourself, the anger most often boiling in our hearts is the anger of man. An anger that shouldn’t be. When I think of this kind of anger I think about Matthew 5, the great sermon on the mount. In Matthew 5 we are called to be salt and light. Throughout the whole sermon of Jesus we are called to be DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD. And when I see James 1:19-20 talking about being slow to anger and the anger of man not producing righteousness, I think about how we end up looking a lot like the world. And when we are angry like this, it does not produce the fruit that God wants us to produce.


    As Christian hockey players, it would be so cool if our teammates, fans, and other players looked at us and saw something different. I truly believe if we lived a less angry life, it would cause people to stop and stare. We would actually be more salty and brighter lights. It would be a step in the direction of producing the righteousness of God in ourselves and others.


    These are just some thoughts about James 1:19-20. I am by no means an expert, but one trying to become the person God created me to be. So please, take this reflection with a grain of salt...and not the Matthew 5 kind. :-)


    Questions

    • What are your thoughts?
    • Is there a place of anger in hockey?
    • How does a Christian hockey player play on the edge without going over the edge?

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