No doubt you’ve heard someone refer to another as, “a loose cannon“. It refers to a “a dangerously uncontrollable person”. The thought stems from the fact that “From the 17th century to the 19th century, wooden warships carried cannon as their primary offensive weapons. In order to avoid damage from their enormous recoil when fired they were mounted on rollers and secured with rope. A loose cannon was just what it sounds like, that is, a cannon that had become free of its restraints and was rolling dangerously about the deck.” (Phrase Finder)
Someone said, “In Victor Hugo’s story, “Ninety-Three” a ship is caught in a storm. The frightened crew hears a terrible crashing sound below. Immediately the men know what it is: a cannon has broken loose and is crashing into the ship’s side with every smashing blow of the sea! Two men, at the risk of their lives, manage to fasten it down again, for they know that the unfastened cannon is more dangerous than the raging storm.”
It doesn’t take much imagination to apply this to what we see all the time. Many know of instances where “a loose cannon” destroyed a home, split a church, ruined a company, hindered a team, or even disrupted a government. When something doesn’t go their way they unleash their anger on others, so as to batter them into submission or destroy them altogether. They get out of control because they can’t control things, so as to get their way. They use anger as a weapon to threaten those who refuse to comply to their demands or grant their desires. There is no telling how much harm has been done to families, churches, and the world in general by those who could be identified as “a loose cannon”.
These dangerous people are like they are because of what they are. They are out of control because they refuse to submit to the Holy Spirit. The solution for this problem is found in Gal. 5:23 where we are told that one of the nine graces that makes up the fruit of the Spirit is “temperance“. You could say that if we are not under the control of the Holy Spirit we are out of control, and that leads to numerous problems. It was for that reason that Paul said, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16).–HDS