A computer that does as it pleases, a motorist who is a few centimeters from my rear bumper: in a day, the opportunities to have mustard come to our noses are legion.
On the road, behind a computer, at work, with our partner: it is disconcerting how quickly we can see red! But in short, this is not surprising: along with fear, sadness and joy, anger is one of the basic emotions of human beings.
Its destructive effects on human relations should however invite us not to trivialize it. The apostle Paul noticed that anger, if it gets out of hand, leads to bad deeds: If you get angry, do not sin (Eph. 4:26). But why take precautions when God himself gets angry 375 times in the Old Testament?
Human anger and divine anger
Tim Jackson, a helping relationship counselor, explains that God's wrath is on another level. Human anger is often linked to selfish motives (demanding that things happen according to our will), with destructive consequences towards others and oneself (hurtful words, threats, beatings).
The anger of God, it finds its source in the evil and the sin which result from it and is intended to promote a productive act. God uses it to prompt his people to change or rectify what is skewed in their relationship with him.
Acknowledge his exasperation
In order to stem an anger based on selfish motives and to manage it constructively, Tim Jackson first proposes to recognize our anger: Pour out your heart before God and tell Him how you feel!
It is then a question of giving oneself the time to examine the merits of our nervousness, according to this biblical text: That every man be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to be angry (Ja. 1,19 ). Does our irritation align with that of God or does it arise from unfulfilled demands? It can be helpful to ask yourself questions such as: Why did I get angry today? Why is my anger so strong at such a trivial event? Has my anger favored God's interests or mine?
Changing the way we think at the root
Often our anger comes from the way we think about God. Doubting his love, we sometimes get angry because we resent him for not conducting our circumstances as we would like. Hence the need to have a renewed, transformed way of thinking (Rom. 12, 2). Tim Jackson writes that this change will gradually influence how we feel.
By choosing to trust ourselves fully in the goodness of God, by believing that he is a Father who loves to give good things to his children, we will gradually control our unjustified anger. While our anger won't go away with a snap of our fingers, we will gain patience and self-control. We will also learn to express anger resembling that of God, based on the refusal of evil and injustice.
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Article originally published on November 10, 2021