Becoming Fully PresentPray through Psalm 73. Then become in touch with that which angers you at the moment.
Anger is an emotion that is all around us. Social media is one of the ways in which we can easily get caught up in cycles of anger. Anger is not always negative and in this week we will explore the role of anger in the lives of Christ followers. The apostle Paul gives us some important guidelines when we deal with anger. He wrote to the Ephesians,
Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.
Paul followed Jesus who taught his disciples how to channel anger,
“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5:21-26
James Bryan Smith in his excellent book, “The Good and Beautiful Life” makes the comment that anger results from Unmet expectations + Fear. Smith further distinguishes between visceral and meditative anger. Here is how he describes these types of angers,
“There are different kinds of anger. A common type is visceral anger, the kind that hits us immediately, as when a waiter accidentally spills food onto our lap. There is very little lag time between the action and the reaction. It all happens very fast and our bodies react. We can work on this kind of anger, but it is not something we can prepare for. Jesus’ apprentices can learn to respond differently to visceral anger, ger, but this will take time. A second type of anger, one that is more common and more damaging aging to the soul, is meditative anger. This kind of anger grows over a period of time. The more we stew on it, the worse it becomes. We can work on this anger more easily because we have more time to process the narratives that cause it.”