Thursday, February 28, 2008

Anger revisited

So my group presented on Tuesday night over anger. Apparently it was a hit with the class - everyone I have run into has said it was great. (Well, all the students, not the profs) It's good to have that over with. But, after a comment from a friend on the previous post about anger, I will elaborate a bit about it.

As I said before, anger is a normal human response and an attribute of God. Nahum 1:2,3:

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The LORD takes vengeance on his foes
and maintains his wrath against his enemies.
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power;
the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of his feet.

So, we see that God demonstrates anger. His is a holy and just anger, not ever selfish or inappropriate. We have been created in God's image (Gen 1:26) and therefore have some of God's attributes in us. However, we are also selfish and tend to seek our own motives and our own good in situations. Therefore, our anger is often short-sighted, selfish, inappropriate to the situation, and inappropriately expressed.

James 1:19, 20 says to be slow to anger because the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. It does not say anger is bad, but being short-tempered is not what will bring about the good things of God.

Proverbs 29:11 says a fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. Hmmm...self-control. Not only fruit of the Spirit but also a sign of wisdom.

Ephesians 4:26 says not to sin in your anger and not to let your anger dwell. Don't hold onto it! Easier said than done for some of us (myself included). But the Lord knows that bitterness grows when we dwell on anger.

So what do we do about it?

  • First, recognize it for what it is. A normal human emotion. An emotion that sometimes masks other emotions like fear or pain. An emotion that can, and should, be controlled.
  • Learn to confess your anger to God, not because anger is a sin, but because you have only your limited perspective and could be missing the big picture.
  • Learn to express yourself in healthy, helpful ways. One way to do this is through "I" statements like "I feel hurt when you say those things because it seems like you don't care about my feelings."
  • Develop a lifestyle of forgiveness. Not merely "sweeping things under the rug," but actively forgiving others.
  • Develop an outlook of thankfulness. It's hard to be angry with you are thankful for what you have and what God has done for you.
Some of those suggestions are my own opinion. Take it or leave it.
Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

Melody said...

I really like this post-- I hate it, but I like it. I think a typical response here would be something like, "easier said than done." And to an extent, I think that is true! LOL.

I just need to pray and ask God to continually change me, make me more Christ-like, and learn how to control my normal human tendancy.

Thanks for all the information and helpful tips. I'll keep praying! :)