A coworker once asked me, “Why are people so angry?” The answer that I gave was not adequate, I am not sure if I had an answer. Since we talked that day, an angry man entered a church in Texas to “get even” with the parents of his ex-wife. They were not there that day, but one who was wounded in that shooting said,
“I don't blame the Lord. I will always have my faith. But I won’t go to that church no more. I’m scared. From here on, I am going to study at home.”
Still rattled by her brush with death, she said "I don’t know what to think anymore."
"This world is full of so much anger."
Twenty six people were killed that day in November, 2017. In 1999, another person killed 7 and wounded 7 at a church in Ft. Worth, Texas. In 1980 at a church in Daingerfield, Texas, about 40 miles from where I lived at the time, a shooter killed 5 and wounded 10. It is not just in churches, and not just in Texas. It is not just with firearms, and not just in the United States of America.
There is a lot of anger in our world.
The person who has learned to control anger responsibly has taken a giant step of maturity. Many of the problems that we struggle with today are rooted in misunderstood and mismanaged anger. There are few things in this world that are more important than correcting the mismanagement of anger. Controlling anger will benefit relationships with our families, our neighbors and coworkers. My sincere hope is that these articles will encourage you to get help for yourself or an acquaintance that has difficulty controlling or managing their anger.
Anger is not new. The first recorded death in the Bible was because of anger. That anger was in Cain, the firstborn of Adam and Eve when he killed his younger brother Abel. The Scriptures have much to say about anger.
Refrain from anger, and turn from wrath: do not fret-- it only leads to evil. Psalm 37:8
Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. Proverbs 12:16
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered., or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. Proverbs 22:24, 25
What is the purpose of anger? What is the origin of anger? Some Christian literature simply labels anger a sin and says that we have to eliminate it from our lives. Secular literature can label anger as “nature’s way of preparing humans to respond in times of danger.” Neither, in light of today’s news, seems adequate for dealing with the subject of anger.
And let me be clear. I am in no way an authority on the subject of anger. There are however, professionals that we can go to, resources that we can tap into, and places where we can find help in dealing with anger.
Do you learn best by reading? If so, let me suggest the book by Dr. Gary Chapman entitled. “ANGER, Taming a Powerful Emotion.”
Do you prefer videos? Go to RightNow Media @ Work, then search “anger.” There are 106 videos.
Need to talk with someone about your anger? Call Chaplain Larry Hendren at 479-228-7652; Chaplain Nick Braschler at 479-228-3270; or Chaplain Frank Crosby at 479-212-0084. Sometimes we can help, sometimes we can direct you to someone who can.
Next week we will look further at understanding the subject of anger.