Some time ago a reader jumped into the combox and accused me of being “an old bald angry guy.” I liked that. It mad me real mad. Grrrr!
In fact the anger thing is very interesting. I like that Scripture verse, “Be angry, but sin not.” Now there’s a pithy bit of wisdom if ever there was one!
That’s one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I guess it’s because I’ve seen the damage that suppressed anger does in a person’s life. I went through a time when I was suffering from depression and the counselor said, “Depression is often suppressed anger, and suppressed anger often has it’s roots in fear.” So let’s find out what you’re angry about, and that might lead to a discovery of your fears.
Anger is there, and guess what? It’s an emotion, and emotions, by their very definition are not always logical or controllable. That’s why they’re emotions for goodness sake! The problem is we don’t know what to do with the anger because part of us knows that it is probably unfair and illogical and it might hurt someone else and we’re not allowed to lose our temper and most of all we’re supposed to be NICE PEOPLE! RIGHT??!!
Well, maybe, maybe not. We’re supposed to be real people and honest people and true people and authentic people and saintly people, and sometimes anger is the appropriate response. In an excellent post today Fr Pope writes:
“No, anger is not always a sin.” In fact, in some situations anger is the appropriate response. If anger were always a sin, the Jesus never got the memo since he displays quite a lot of anger in the Gospels.
The trick is knowing not just how to control the anger, but when anger is the proper response and how it should be managed. Fr Pope’s post gives some great advice on the matter.
But in the end, anger is not, ipso facto, sinful or wrong. It is sometimes the proper and necessary response. We do well to be careful with our anger, for it is an unruly passion. We ought to see above all the fruit of the Spirit which is meekness and ask to Lord ot give us authority over our anger and a prudence as to its effective use.
I was going to write some more about this topic, but I’m just soooo angry right now that I can’t think straight…