Posted by: Brad Stanford | April 10, 2014

Anger

I was going to comment on this over at Roots In Wonder, but the comment block was way too small. :^)

Here’s what I was going to say:

I find that mostly anger is about self. Like in kindergarten, it’s really about the fact that someone kicked down your house of blocks.

– You put work into something, and someone destroyed it
– You had a perfect path to winning, and someone blocked it
– You had a good thing going, and someone took it
– You never had anything, and you’re confident that you deserve something better, and that someone is to blame

Even Jesus’ anger follows this pattern, for He, being God, was not happy with how man had taken God’s (His) work and ruined it. For “by Him and through Him all things were made” – and mere men slimed His good work with the drippings of evil.

If you’re angry about evil defiling that which is supposed to be righteous, I would say you’re feeling what God feels.

But if you’re angry about your own efforts being thwarted, others getting in your way or taking from you, or the downright ineptitude of someone that you’re forced to deal with,¬† then the issue is you.

Step 1 is to tell God how angry you are. He won’t be shocked.

Step 2 is to figure out what made you angry and write it down, or say it out loud to God or someone else. The very act of confessing – not that you’re angry, but precisely what it was: “I worked hard and someone destroyed that” – will expose the issue. And light has a habit of infiltrating the dark.

Step 3 is more dangerous, but effective: learn how to say, “How did you treat me when I did this to you, God?” Then let His response wash over yours.

Step 4 is difficult: Admit that you don’t even deserve to breathe, let alone be offended. Humility is anger prevention.

Step 5 is worth it: with nothing else to hang onto, nothing left to keep you on the throne in place of God, fall into the arms of Jesus.

Does this mean it will no longer hurt when people wrong us? Of course not. Getting hit with a bat hurts no matter how strong your faith is. But it’s what we think about the pain that is at issue here.

The kind of pain Jesus had to deal with cause Him to sweat drops of blood. I don’t think any of us can really identify with that. Then meditate – focus! – on how Jesus dealt with it.

Go and do likewise.

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