Sunday, February 26, 2012

My perspective on Anger

I spent a lot of my time in counseling working on accepting anger as part of my life.  One of the ways I studied was reading about Christ and his example.  In the cleansing of the Temple, this one act showed that Christ experienced anger.  I reread the verses.  I realized that Christ cleansed the temple after he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem.  He was declaring to the world that the temple was his house to cleanse.  I learn several things from this.  Anger is not a sin.  Christ is without sin and from this one scene he felt anger.  He did not politely ask the money changers to leave.  He drove them out and turned over their tables.  From just the few verses that were kept in the Bible it is hard to tell all that transpired.  I believe that Christ considered his actions.  He had gone to the temple since he was a young boy.  The money changers had been part of the temple for years.  I suspect he felt offended each time.  I think anger is an emotion that in and of itself is not wrong or unhealthy.  It is what we do with it after we feel it that becomes a problem.  Excuses such as "I hit him because I was angry," is an excuse.  Allowing an emotion to be blamed for what I chose to do is not acceptable.  Turning anger in on myself is destructive too.  I believe what I learned from Christ is to use anger as a signal that I need to make a change.  If I am hurt, I need to protect myself.  If I am frustrated, I need to look at the problem in a new way.  If I am afraid, I need to evaluate the situation and see what I can do to feel safe again.  Anger without change in a healthy direction is what is destructive.   Vented outward in an explosion or inward by depression anger hurts me or those around me.  Anger controlled and used as a motivation to drive a thought out plan is what I believe the emotion anger is most useful in doing.  People rarely change a situation until they get angry and say enough is enough... then change occurs.  I believe from the time we are infants that one of life's challenges is how to master our control over our own anger.  Part of maturing is about enlisting anger as a helper rather than hindering our lives and relationships. 


mulderfan said...

I understand the concept of harnessing anger but still struggle with it.

Hugs P/M

Ruth said...

Me too.