“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, July 14, 2008

Anyone Can Become Angry -
That Is Easy

“Anyone can become angry -
that is easy,
but to be angry with the right person
at the right time,
and for the right purpose and
in the right way -
that is not within everyone's power
and that is not easy.” - Aristotle

I had the opportunity to visit the church of a family member this weekend. The pastor's sermon was on anger. I thought, "Great! I can take a little mind break... I think I have a handle on this..." Boy! Was I wrong!

I was amazed at the amount of verses in the Bible that deal with anger. I've heard it said that if something is repeated over and over again in the Bible... it must be for great cause.

What impacted me the most is when the pastor said that often the emotion of anger is caused by feelings of injustice. When we think, "That's Not Right!" When we have a blocked desire or goal... when we feel slighted, cheated or attacked. When our rights are violated... but catch this one... when our perceived rights are violated. What? Back up the train! Repeat that... "when our perceived rights are violated."

Okay, OUCH! This hits home for me. Think about it... what really are our "rights"? what really are our "perceived rights"? Do I really have the right to expect everyone to treat me fairly? or to treat my son with special attention? or to have peace and quiet in my backyard? or for the gas prices to be lower than $4.50 a gallon? or for my rental car to smell new (or at least not like smoke)? Or to get free internet access at a coffee shop... that does work? Or to get that super close parking spot?

Then the pastor came in with the next punch... We tend to get angry when someone violates a personal right that we have NOT YIELDED to God. (Wait a minute! I thought I was on vacation here!!!) Hmmm....

So, maybe I'm the only one dealing with this issue... but if you want to know how the pastor suggested we deal with our anger over what we may feel are our personal/perceived rights...

give it up

That's it. Just give it up. Give up our right to not get cut off while driving... or while talking. Give up our right to feeling we should be the center of our friend's attention. Give up our right to being first in line. Give up our right to get free food on the airline. Give up our right to... fill in the blank.

Yield these rights over to God.

I'm not saying it is wrong to be angry. I'm just wondering if there are more times then not that I get angry over "rights"... that I'm not even "entitled" to... that I perceive to be my right.


a portland granny said...

What a timely topic!! I have been on the line with Verizon for 2.5 hours, waitiing, talking to people who can't speak English, being given incorrect information, etc. You get the picture?????

So while I'm waiting, I decided to read some blogs that I am behind on and lo and behold, a little post about "anger"! I didn't know I was capable of how angry I have been this afternoon.

Thankfully, the Lord gave me grace not to take it out on any of the people I was speaking with, but in my heart I have been beyond angry!! (ready to call the attorney general's office if necessary!!)

So I read your post twice and I rebelled as I read it--I feel the want and need to get upset when my "rights" have been violated--however the Spirit has been calming me down the last hour and even tho the problem is not fixed, your post spoke to my heart.

My heart has stopped pounding, the headache is going, the tears of frustration are dried up, and I am putting off trying to solve this puzzle until Wednesday, when, by God's grace I will start anew with purpose in my heart and mind to remember that "all things work together for good..."

So this has been too long already. Thank you for having the courage to write your thoughts!!

Blessings on you

Tanner Family Blog said...

Thank you for this post! It was just what I needed to read - Today in fact!!!
My new phrase that I'm going to repeat in my head, is....Give It Up!"
Thank you for always inspiring me to try and be better! I have a long way to go!

Kathy said...

Wow -- great thoughts. Gives me a lot to think about!


Great food for Thought!

StitchinByTheLake said...

Anger is foreign to me. For some reason I never thought it was ok for me to get angry. Not getting angry is as unhealthy as always getting angry. :) A few years ago someone said something ugly about a friend and me - I don't know why but the anger overwhelmed me. It was a righteous anger. I ended up confronting the person, which in that case was the right thing to do. But I discovered why I don't like getting angry. You lose control. Or feel like you're losing control. I much prefer the feeling of God being in control over the feeling of me losing control. Blessings, marlene

Anonymous said...

What great food for thought.
Love Ruth

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Oh Sister...

you are speaking some truth here tonight! I just e-mailed a friend regarding the issue...my "perceived rights" being violated and my tendency toward feeling angry over it. I have absolutely no right to feel slighted or angry in the least, and yet my flesh begs to differ.

Surrendering. The bottom line. Giving it up for the better...God's better.

Thanks for the timely reminder.


cammyk said...

Finally catching up on some of my blog reading. So glad Anthony and you were able to come to church with us.