Skip to main content

Anger part 2

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent?
-Genesis 4:6

There is a lot of anger in the world.  Christians are angry.  Love is supposed to be our forte, but so many of us are more seething and simmering with anger than experiencing and being love.

The first instance of anger, in the Bible, is the story of Cain.  In anger, he killed his brother.  We don't just have that fact, but the story is about hurt or jealous rivalry, with God attempting to intervene, and Cain making the wrong choice, even after an encounter with God.

In our lives, we might feel justified in our anger.  We would say that this or that happened and it might have been brought about by a certain person in our life, whom we become angry with.  What is very unfortunate is that as a Christian, we retain the anger, the bitterness, and the unforgiveness toward the other and wonder why our Christian life is not joyous, fruitful, or filled with peace.

Imagine that in the midst of your fretting and fuming, that God shows up and asks you, "Why?"  We might immediately repent or we might not listen and not answer God, and continue in our anger.  The latter is what Cain did what we often do today.

We make the mistake of living Christian lives, ignoring God.  It is a mistake to live, forgetting that Jesus promised us he would always be with us.  When hurtful things happen to us, God is there in all his goodness, love, and grace towards us; but to live in God, we must choose to practically walk with him and receive from him, which is the essence of the Christian life.

We have the same heavenly Father that Cain had, who is concerned for our welfare.  God comes to each one of us and says, "Why are you furious?"  The lesson is to tell God your hurt.

Anger is a secondary emotion.  It is a reaction.  Anger comes from hurt or loss.

Cain was angry with his brother.  Cain's anger was not resolved through connecting his hurt heart to God, and grew into judgement of the worst sort.

We get angry because our need is not met or we suffer injustice.  Whether we were purposely sinned against or we just did not get something we hoped for, anger that grows into bitterness, rage, and unforgiving judgement is not justified.  We can develop an angry style if we continually view our relationships from a demanding point of view that is irrational.

Some people enter into all of their interpersonal relationships with demands for validation, love, and acceptance.  When their unspoken demands are not met, they experience rejection and respond with anger.  The root of their problem is not with all these people, but in themselves.

Self love is the foundation from which we love others.  It is not loving to constantly be offended  by people for not validating us.  I can not function in relationships in a healthy or whole manner if I do not love myself.

When I am continually taking offense at others for their not meeting my demands and become angry at them, with a folding arms and pouting style; I am not loving them.  And the reason we adopt this style is because we do not love our selves.  God designed us to love him and love ourselves, then love others unconditionally.

When a hurt happens in life and we feel it, we might get angry.  We can decide to stay angry and even get angrier.  Or, we can feel the hurt.

When we feel the hurt, that might be uncomfortable, but feeling can lead to healing.  Anger does not lead to healing, but disconnects us from our pain and our relationship, with the other, with our selves, and with God.

Part of the process is to feel it and validate the pain, hurt, or loss; without resorting to judging and punishing someone else.  We often need to forgive.  We also might need to negotiate the hidden demand that resulted in the hurt.

Was I or am I making an unrealistic demand on others that ends up hurting myself?  Is there room for me to grow in self love, so that I can love others, and might I need to cultivate that self love through letting God love me, and seeing myself as a loved person?

______________________________
Some of the practical ideas here are from:

Caring Enough To Confront, by David Augsburger; pp. 36-40

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Two Disciples and The Two Donkeys

When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task.  He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anybody says anything to you, say that the Lord needs it.” He sent them off right away.  Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said,  Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.”  The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.
-Matthew 21:1-7

On what we call Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. But, he had two disciples get two donkeys: a mother donkey and her colt. Jesus rode the young male who had never been ridden before. In his carefulness and perhaps kindness towards these two donkeys, he had th…

Teaching vs. Indoctrination

As usual, Paul went to the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
-Acts 17:2

There is a difference between teaching and indoctrination.  Education is not indoctrination.  But some secular and christian education is indoctrination masquerading as education.

If you are a teacher, whether you homeschool your children, teach at the pro level or you teach in your church; it is good to know this difference between indoctrination and true teaching.  Many people are indoctrinated today, rather than taught.

What you might notice, is that when you preach, whether you preach to a crowd or a few, it is easy to be an indoctrinator rather than a true teacher.  True teachers ask people questions and expect them to challenge and debate them.


Teaching

Sharing ideas and conceptsTeaching is absorbed and integrated into one's own lifeConcepts or ideas are questioned and debatedMaterial is reflected uponStudents summarize back what's being learnedStudents thin…

God's Secret, Hidden People

(The children) of Elam 1,254.  -Ezra 2:7

Do you feel hidden?

The name Elam means secret or hidden.  Do you feel like you are on the shelf, not being used by God?  Maybe you are part of God's secret agents.

God has people who are in secret.

I have this idea that God has His attention on secret people.   I believe that God has rewards for secret people coming.  You may feel on the shelf, but you are actually hidden for a special purpose.  God has you in reserve.

The number one thousand, two-hundred, and fifty-four; tells us God's plan for his hidden, secret, and in reserve children

One thousand speaks of recompense.

Recompense means that you will be compensated or made amends to, due to harm or loss you suffered. In Genesis 20:16 is the story of Abimelech recompensing Abraham and Sarah.

Two speaks of fellowship, partnership, and co-laboring (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

There are hidden people who have felt like they are "going it alone", who are about to be joined by someone.  …