What does it take to turn a person into a Judas? What motivates someone to betray deep-seated loyalties? Unresolved anger and resentment, for one thing. Consider the story of Earl Pitts, FBI agent turned Soviet spy.
According to Evan Thomas in Newsweek, Pitts was raised on a farm in Missouri and was recognized as a Future Farmer of America. His parents said they disciplined him firmly but fairly. He was a captain in the army who regarded himself as a patriot. Even today he is described by his wife as a “good man.”
So what happened?
After getting his law degree and serving as a military policeman for six years, in 1983 Pitts realized a lifelong ambition by going to work for the FBI. In 1987 he was assigned to the New York office, and there his troubles began. He did not see how he could afford to live in the Big Apple on his $25,000 salary.
Thomas writes, “Morale in the office was poor, and petty cheating on expense accounts was rampant. Burdened with debt from student loans, Pitts had to ask his father . . , for a loan. He felt humiliated. Pitts later told a psychiatrist that he was ‘overwhelmed’ by a sense of rage at the FBI.”
One morning he came up with the idea of spying for the KGB. That way he could kill two birds with one stone: he could solve his money problems and get back at his bosses. He later told a psychiatrist, “I was shoved by the bureaucracy, and I shoved back.”
Over the next seven years Pitts worked as a Soviet spy and for his services received $224,000. When he was finally caught and convicted, the judge sentenced him to twenty-seven years in prison. At his sentencing the judge asked him point-blank why he had become a traitor. Earl Pitts replied, “I gave in to an unreasonable anger. ”
Never allow anger to fester. Deal with anger as God prescribes.
Here is another story:
Shirley Belleranti shows the negative impact of anger on our most important relationships:
I remember one summer day when my ten-year-old son and a friend were getting a pitcher of lemonade from the refrigerator. I’d spent hours that morning scrubbing, waxing, and polishing the kitchen floor, so I warned the boys not to spill anything. They tried so hard to be careful that they innocently bumped a tray of eggs on the door shelf. Of course, it fell, splattering eggs all over my clean floor.
The boys’ eyes widened with alarm as I exploded angrily. “Get out of here now!” I shouted, while they headed for the door. By the time I’d finished cleaning up the mess, I had calmed down. To make amends, I set a tray of cookies on the table, along with the pitcher of lemonade and some glasses. But when I called the boys, there was no answer—they’d gone somewhere else to play, somewhere where my angry voice wouldn’t reach them.
Anger separates us from those we want to be near. Anger shatters intimacy.
It sure does.
Do not let the sun go down on your anger that’s what the Bible has to say because the Author know the stuff we are made of. God has given us a mind to use and we need to use that mind to educate our moods.
I sure appreciate the fact that God does not blow His top the way I do.
Just remember this. Anger can sure be an expensive luxury. And we simply can’t afford it.