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  • HAPruitt

Menthoshine Is So Angry!

Much of the character Menthoshine is hidden under layers of darkness, but one fact is extremely clear: she is angry. Really, she is beyond angry--Menthoshine is overflowing with hatred and wrath toward seemingly everything. Surely something happened to stir up such a raging fire in her . . . at least that's what we hope when we meet real people who ooze unbelievably vicious hatred.

We are all born with a bent toward sin, but God does not create in us a character of flaming, all-consuming anger. Relentless anger does come from somewhere. It starts with an enemy. That enemy can be a person or thing, real or perceived, or even something as simple as a few words. This enemy that precedes and instigates anger is not defined by what it is but by what it does: it robs us of control. It removes all of our power in a way that (truthfully or not) makes us believe we can do nothing about it. This enemy often takes shape as the death of a loved one, someone saying, "that's how you'll always be", or some other loss of something that we deeply want. That sort of enemy doesn't sound like one that would cause wrathful malice, but its power resides in time. When we choose (yes, it is our choice) to continue to desire what that enemy has irrevocably stolen, we start fighting. We fight because we want back what we've lost but only gained frustration because the loss only solidifies more and more. The fight transforms into a frustrating and debilitating cycle: we try to regain our lost desire, discover just how impossible that is, grow angry with the enemy that took it, and try to defy and vanquish that enemy by regaining what we lost. Every time we trudge through the cycle, even if just mentally, we harbor more and more anger at the enemy, at ourselves, and eventually at life in general.

While loss and other external sources of anger are impossible to avoid, transforming into a person characterized by anger is avoidable. Before or at any point during that cycle, if we choose to accept our loss, then we do not feel the need to engage in battle. If we choose to accept we are wrong, we can avoid a family split. If we choose to accept death, we don't have to keep reliving it until it takes our life. If we choose to accept that those words someone said are simply words, we can stop letting our fight with them define us. When we accept loss, we don't have to keep trying and failing to gain victory over the enemy.

Some loss is worth recovering. Even then, though, we can't win back anything by fighting the enemy. The only way to win back life is to stop fighting and start asking God to fill the loss. God does not give us everything we want, but because He is everything we need, He can fill anew the voids we feel. If we pursue God rather than the enemy, we will acquire peace rather than amassing anger.

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