Anger is uncomfortable emotion, either from ourselves or from others. Whatever way it is expressed, it can leave us feeling raw, and it is the strongest of all passions.
We may have been brought up with it around us in the home and it can be frightening. Constant exposure results in one being hyper-vigilant and fearful.
However, anger is a normal human emotion. It is a natural response to feeling attacked or frustrated.
Many Christians believe that it is a sin to be angry but scriptures informs us that many things made Jesus mad, such as:
The evil He saw around Him.
The human condition; sickness, starvation, war, death.
People being manipulated and used, not being valued, especially the vulnerable and children.
The burdens being placed on people by religious leaders.
Selfishness and greed.
However, Jesus rarely got angry over what was being done to Him.
God approves of ‘righteous anger’, when it is in defence of others - which is different to ‘selfish outrage’, which can boil over, and so easily turn to violence and sin.
Being angry isn’t a problem, it’s how we deal with it. The healthy way to handle it is to look and see where our anger comes from. It can sometimes come from unhealed trauma, for memories of certain events can trigger angry responses. Anger can also stop us feeling the full weight of sorrows we may have in our lives.
There are different types of responses, some are healthy and some are not, so we need to learn to manage our anger.
How did Jesus respond to the things that made Him mad?
Mark 11:15-18 Jesus dealt decisively with the moneylenders; He expressed his disapproval of their corruption.
Matthew 7:1-5 expresses how important it is to look at the root of our own anger.
John 8:1-11 Jesus is prayerful and communicates His feelings and thoughts to those around Him. He is confident, calm and assertive.
Anger really is a complicated emotion; we will look at it over the next few Church Sofas.
Anyone can be angry. That is easy.
But to be angry with the right person,
to the right degree,
at the right time,
for the right person,
and in the right way - that is not easy.