«The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life» (Proverbs 20:2).
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Church of Wittenberg (Germany). But when Luther’s ideas were translated into the language of the people and distributed massively throughout Germany, what could have remained as a mere claim at the academic level raised a huge political, social and religious commotion. Soon, the conflict began to cross borders, worrying princes and rulers of other kingdoms.
Henry VIII, king of England, urged Emperor Charles V to exterminate the Lutheran heresy by force and, in 1521 (possibly under the assistance of his chaplain, Edward Lee), wrote a scholastic defense of the seven sacraments against one of Luther’s principal works (Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church). The work of the ruler received great praise from the pope. However, when it arrived at the hands of Martin Luther, he said of the monarch: «King Henry, by misfortune (or wrath) of God, king of England.» Not content with it, the German reformer heaped on the English ruler the most excessive epithets. He even gave an unnecessary blow to the princes when he said that King Henry was proof of the truthfulness of that proverb which stated that «there are no greater fools than kings and princes.» Luther’s best friends reproached him for his attitude toward the king of England and his recklessness in offending the ruling class.
Shortly afterward, Henry VIII came into conflict with the pope because of questions about his marriage. The problem ended in a distancing between the English sovereign and the Roman pontiff. Then, in his eagerness to win him for the cause of the Protestant Reformation, Luther wrote him a letter on September 1, 1525, in which he recanted his remarks about the monarch and apologized, offering to honor him in a public way. Henry rejected the offer with contempt and royal pride, and moreover, told him that he now repudiated him not only for his heresy, but for his cowardice.
The conflict between Luther and the king of England was taken advantage of by the papists to carry out a great derision on the cause of the Protestant Reformation, which lost the support of one of Europe’s most important sovereigns at a key moment in history.
Awakening the wrath of an authority can put you in a very unfavorable situation. Volatility, anger, and arrogance are particularly destructive traits.
Ask the Lord to grant you the wisdom you need to face this kind of situation.