Saturday, November 03, 2007

Anger

I don't have this worked out completely, but I've spent some time meditating on anger. I'll be curious about your comments on this.

Anger is a natural emotion that rushes in whenever there is a perceived gap between what should be and what is. The gap doesn't have to be real. The anger does not need to be proportional to the gap.

My experience is that anger can at best showcase a problem (often a problem with me) -- it's not a solution. It might be necessary to highlight evil.

Acting in anger is not effective. Even in a physical confrontation, anger works more against me than it helps me. This is in part because anger simultaneously fixates on something (so we miss the whole picture) and also diffuses concentration (so we cannot focus power efficiently). Angry people think neither clearly or wisely.

Anger requires fuel, something to feed on, just like a fire needs fuel. Angry people can spend a lot of time finding more to fuel their anger. Anger is like a drug which fools men into thinking it feels good, even as they are destroyed. Take a bite from anger, and it can devour you.

The Bible distinguishes between righteous and unrighteous anger. It's significant that Jesus does not become angry with his executioners, nor those whom called him some awful names and accused him of being in league with the devil. However you do see his anger when someone is blocking someone else from interaction with God (e.g., the money-changers occupying the court of the Gentiles and preventing Gentiles from coming there to pray)

The antidote to anger is to shift the focus to Christ and His kingdom ways, and to stop fueling it. When we recognize our security in Christ, and no longer see people from a worldly perspective (2 Cor 5:16), then we can interact with others in non-angry ways. The cross fills the gap, rather than anger.

Note: I'm not arguing for pacificism or Mikey Milquetoast Christianity. Let our anger be like Christ's. Let our focus be on Jesus. Where bold stands and violence are necessary to stand for God and protect others, we act, but not in anger or vengeance.

1 comment:

David said...

Expectations are premeditated resentments