Thursday, January 13, 2005

Anger Management

In the movie Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius one of the obstacles that Bobby Jones must overcome in order to be successful on the golf course is his anger.

When we are first introduced to Bobby Jones as a child he is seen practicing golf shots in his front yard, cussing and throwing clubs after every errant shot. A few minutes later into the movie we discover that he has learned this behavior most notably from his father as well as others that his father plays golf with. Because no one has shown him that his behavior is inappropriate he grows up believing this is the healthy way to deal with frustration in his golf game.

Sometime later he is playing in an exhibition match and out of frustration throws a club over the heads of the gallery. His playing partner gently rebukes him for his behavior but he rationalizes the situation by saying that no one got hurt.

Everyone around him can see that he has a problem with his anger. Yet no one is willing to confront him.

At a U. S. Amateur championship he once again loses his temper and throws a club. However, this time he hits a spectator in the leg. Although the spectator is not seriously hurt, Jones begins to realize that his anger (and his failure to properly deal with it) can have some serious consequences. But it's not until his father finally confronts him (because the USGA threatens to ban him from further competition until he can control his anger) and Jones' career is in jeopardy does he finally face up to his anger problem once and for all and get it under control.

Jones had a problem with anger. He was surrounded by people who cared about him (but it seems about his career more than him as an individual) who were not willing to confront him over his obvious sin. As a result, his friends and family were not helping him. If it hadn't been for his father's intervention, he would have never been able to continue play competitive golf. But if someone, anyone who could see what was happening had intervened earlier then how much more successful could he have been? If only they had followed this simple command:

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13

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