Friday, November 26, 2010

Anger: Being the Wrong Kind of Image-Bearer

In the comments section for Monday's post about anger, Jenny asked a great question that I hope to come back to soon. Meanwhile, I found in my drafts folder and wanted to share this excerpt from a great article I read on Boundless quite a while back:

From emotional outbursts to weather complaints, anger arises from a failure to believe the truth, and belief that God owes me something: better weather or better marital intimacy or whatever.

Belief in this false promise is unbelief in God's promises.

Powlison points out that we express our anger towards God in three main ways. First, anger either ignores or rejects the sovereign freedom of God. Second, it's a refusal to believe God's promise to work for our good in all things, even drastic changes in climate. Third, it enthrones our will for comfort over God's will, effectively assuming personal supremacy over God. It puts God in the dock.

We've seen these three elements from my personal struggles with anger, noting their Satanic, not Christlike character. At the root of anger is an enthronement of our will, an idolatry of our way, and a refusal to exercise a contented trust in God's providence.

...At the cross our good and God's glory converge. Angry sinners are forgiven and God's righteous anger is preserved. At the cross we witness Jesus bearing the brunt of God's righteous anger for our unrighteous anger, cutting remarks and constant complaining.

--Jonathan Dodson, "Anger: The Image of Satan"


zz said...

At the risk of sounding blunt or know-it-all, and please don't take offense--please!--I have read all this kind of stuff many times and agree with the principles. But I still have a ton of anger and it doesn't seem to help to just know it. I don't think it's as simple was what I typically hear: "you don't get what you want." That brings it out (ie I don't get the answer i want, the quiet I want, the attention I want, the cooperation I want, etc). Some people seem to be so much more even keeled about it, or they stuff it. I know there are some deep hurts, guilt, and shame that aren't dealt with or else they couldn't be triggered , right?

I want to find real help dealing with the underlying reasons that Jenny (your commenter earlier) spoke of.

I'm tempted to type Anonymously, but I won't. Why hide the truth?

Amy said...

no offense taken, Zo. thanks for being real!

I definitely don't have the answers--but I'll be thinking through your perspective as I think through Jenny's question. you're right, it's not simple and there are no quick-fixes.