Chip Ingram on Anger

Well, having  just a couple of days ago posted a blog about anger, I was amazed and delighted to catch a message by Chip Ingram the next day on anger.  He has written a book about destructive emotions.  At  www.livingontheedge.org you can find his series on this subject.  He is a very good teacher; really worth the effort. 

He also refers to James 1:19-20.  He talks about how the apostle Paul writes about not letting the sun go down on your wrath.  He emphasizes that anger, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.  Jesus was angry at the cheating moneychangers.  David was mad at Goliath, and there are other examples.  To be angry about righteous causes is a good thing.  In fact, he says, we are not angry enough about so many wrongs.  It allows complacency and ignorance to flourish.  Of course, ending Sexual Violence is one of those  just causes and we need to be angry enough to change these things.  Chip tells a story of seeing a child abused in a laundromat, his rage, and then what he did.  Anger is God-given.  It is not a sin.  It is what we do with it that becomes the problems in our relationships with others and God. 

Most people do not even know they are angry.  Some blow up.  Some hide it.  Either way, it is the warning light that something is wrong somewhere.  It artificially makes us feel in control and powerful.  Like artificial ‘food’ gives us physical problems, such red lights gives us ’emotional sicknesses.’ 

Left unchecked anger gets its grooves locked into our brains.  It stirs up dissension, splits apart relationships, and commits many sins.  It adds to our pain.  As I have written, I did not know I was angry about the rape.  Sure, I was severly depressed in the years following it, but I thought my pain was my husband’s fault.  I spewed my anger out at him, even in front of my children.  I know now how damaging that was.  I am heart-broken about it.  It does not have to be this way.  As we collectively as individuals, communities, and faith communities break the Code of Silence, such divorces and damaged children such as mine will be at least minimized, at best stopped.  We as a family needed to be in ’emergency room’ treatment, not met with ignorance, silence, and being ignored. 

Depression is a major mask of anger.  Maybe as much as 95% of depression is anger turned inward.  I had that too.  I contemplated suicide at times; once  planned it out in detail.  I almost ‘ran away from home,’  just as I had fantasized doing when I was growing up and was a child in great pain. 

A visit to hear Chip Ingram on this subject might be quite enlightening.  I grew up in a rage-filled violent home and the denial cloud around us is still dark.   

One last thing that Chip says and I want to reiterate.  No one ever has the power to ‘make us mad.’  We often hear, and may even say, ‘so and so’ made me so mad.  No.  If you are angry, it is only, only about you.  If you are angry at a just cause and express your feelings as necessary to the parties involved in the way outlined in Matthew chapter 18, you are blessed indeed.

Comments

  1. Thanks Kimothy!

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