“Hitching Your Wagon to a ‘Mad’ Man”

“Hitching Your Wagon to a ‘Mad’ Man”

Pro 22:24-25 – Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

Nathaniel Philbrick wrote a book called, The Last Stand, in which he described George Custer with the following words: “Custer did not drink; he didn’t have to. His emotional effusions [outbursts] unhinged his judgment in ways that went far beyond alcohol’s ability to interfere with clear thinking.” Imagine following a man like that into a place called Little Bighorn!

Anger can serve a righteous purpose (see Num. 25:10-13; John 2:13-17; Acts 17:16). However, when a man has surrendered to it as the default emotion in dealing with others with whom he disagrees, the damage can be tremendous for him, but how much more for those who have “hitched their wagon” to him (see Prov. 22:24-25). Consider some consequences for those who willingly and/or blindly follow a “mad” man:

Their influence will be blighted as people associate them with an angry man. A Christian’s influence is paramount to his ability to reach people (Matt. 5:14-16). Where a person associates with a man given to anger, their collective influence will be minimal. Is it any wonder that the New Testament counsels men to be full of love, gentleness, patience, longsuffering and forgiveness in order to bless and reach others?

People will fear retribution from them as with the angry man. The Pharisees excelled in pushing men down to advance their hard-hearted agendas (see John 9:18-34; 12:42). I wonder if Nicodemus was feared like that being associated with the name “Pharisee” (John 3:1-21). Others will experience a fear/terror in the pit of their stomach in dealing with the wrathful man and even his companions.

Reasonability is drowned out by hostility and aggression. The Jews provoked the people to cry out, “crucify Him” with them. Just days earlier, these same people were crying out, “hosanna”! They were not interested in reason. They were not interested in the Scripture (although they would have argued both these points). Instead, their rage demanded Jesus pay for “His transgressions” which, ironically, were really “their transgressions”. Consider James 1:19-20.

Transgressions will abound. A man given to anger, and his companions, will never yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness (James 3:10-18). A person like that would do well to ask, “what is my life, my influence and my Christian walk producing?” If it looks like the above, repentance is the place to begin to make it right!


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