I’m as mad as hell. Should I feel guilty about it?

Not all anger is the same:

Anger can be a vague, generalized feeling

  • It can be occasioned by a specific set of circumstances
  • It can arise out of the disparity between what we want and what is
  • (And what we want can be a healthy, good thing to want…and it might not be)
  • It can arise out of the disparity between what is and what should be
  • (And we can be wrong or right about what should be)

We typically mishandle anger

  • By acting out of it unreflectively
  • Or by repressing it

And for that reason we have a lot of alternative vocabulary for anger

  • And we tend to talk about some people as having a temper which (while no doubt true)
  • Obscures the fact that we all get angry

The reason we mishandle anger lies with:

  • Our general discomfort with emotion
  • Negative associations with angry behavior
  • And negative associations with conflict

The cleansing of the Temple is an excellent passage to study in this connection

  • Because it shows Jesus having an emotion that we do not associate with God
  • And it points to a fundamental truth:

Anger is not only appropriate at times, it can be a good and necessary thing

Anger can signal…

  • Clarity
  • Resolve
  • The need to act

The question, of course, is what helps us to measure the appropriateness of our anger

  • The answer lies in noting the difference in our motives
  • In noting the difference between self-serving and other-serving anger
  • The difference between ego, pique and something larger

That’s where the cleansing of the Temple fits in…

  • Jesus embodies the appropriate manifestation of anger
  • Rooted in the things of God

There is a message in anger like that

  • Don’t be afraid of it
  • Listen to it
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