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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, March 24, 2014

Why Did I Get Angry?

(Proverbs 16:32 KJV) He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. 

This is an amazing scripture because it does not tell one not to be angry, but to be slow in getting angry. This scripture does not even imply that God is suggesting that one can live an angry free life, but that one should learn to control and discipline their emotions.

When considering all the different kinds of anger one soon realizes that no one is immune to it. For example, the following is a list of the anger traps that are always set for us:

·        Behavioral Anger – describes someone who is aggressive towards whatever triggered their anger, such as another person. The results can even be physical abuse.

·        Passive Anger – usually expressed with sarcasm or mockery.
·        Verbal Anger – used to criticize and insult people and put them down.
·        Constructive Anger – a key factor in driving people to want to join movements and groups. It is the feeling of being fed up with how things are going and the need to make a positive change.
·        Self-inflicted Anger – causing harm to one’s own body by punishing themselves for something they have done wrong. Some examples include starvation, cutting themselves and overeating.
·        Volatile Anger – comes and goes. It can appear out of nowhere and can be expressed verbally or physically.
·        Chronic Anger – someone who is angry all the time for no apparent reason.
·        Judgmental Anger – a person expressing their feelings by making those around them feel worthless.
·        Overwhelmed Anger – when a person relieves stress by shouting when things are too overwhelming for them.
·        Retaliatory Anger – probably one of the most common angers of all. It usually occurs as a direct response to someone else lashing out at you.
·        Paranoid Anger – when someone feels jealousy towards another because they feel what the other person has is rightfully theirs.
·        Deliberate Anger – using anger to gain power over a situation or another person. This is particularly true when the other person does not see eye to eye with them.
Having given all of these explanations of anger I must shamefully confess I got very angry the other day while getting the oil changed in my car. The young man (with his smart mouth) who was serving me exasperated me beyond measure. As a matter of fact I was so upset with him that I ended up feeling completely dirty inside and not even worthy of God’s forgiveness.

As a result of my shameful experience and feeling unworthy to even ask the Lord for forgiveness...He used my experience to explain a lingering question I have had for over fifty years.

As a young minister I went to the hospital one day to pray for some folks and met an old man who was dying. I asked if I could pray for him and he said “No” because he had lived a bad life and was not worthy of forgiveness. He said he deserved to die and go to hell for all of his sins.

I left the hospital broken hearted that day with a question that would linger for all of these years and would not be answered until I was able to feel what the old man in the hospital felt. As a result, I am sure I will have much more compassion for those who feel such unworthiness.

Father,
It was not Your will that I got angry the other day because I truly did not “rule my spirit” as a righteous man should. However, You were gracious and kind to not only forgive me of my sin of anger, but to use that experience to answer my lingering question regarding the old man in the hospital.

Amen

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