Chapter 15 of Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges talks about anger. Anger is a common reaction for many people in the world today. Someone does you wrong or hurts someone you love you feel angry. Anger comes in many ways and reasons. A child can become angry when they do not get their way. Someone may get angry when another is telling lies or letting them down. Bridges states that “Someone else's words or actions may become the occasion of our anger, but the cause lies deep within us — usually our pride, or selfishness, or desire to control”. (Bridges) Here Bridges is explaining the connection between anger and others' actions. It is easy to become frustrated with others when they do you wrong or harm you. Yet that is not what God tells us to do. In Ephesians 4:32 “ Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This verse reminds us that we are to treat one another as God has treated and forgives us. We as people have wronged God many times through our sins. In this verse, God is sharing that if he can forgive our sins we must forgive others who have hurt or wronged us. If we don't, that often comes into anger, which isn't good for anyone in the equation.

Many of you made have heard about the Oscars and the incident with Will Smith. This was a great example of anger and what it can lead to. Will got angry and decided to take that anger into action toward another person. This action has affected many people. Bridges explain well the different types of handling anger. Bridges states that “ “It’s safe to say that all of us get angry from time to time. The issue is how we handle it. Some people tend to internalize their anger and strong, usually hurtful language. Others will externalize it in more subtle ways, such as belittling or making sarcastic comments two or about the person who is the object of their anger. And then there’s a third group, who tend to internalize their anger in a form of resentment. All these expressions of anger are sin”. (Bridges) Understanding each of these will help guide you in which way you respond and help you evaluate your responses. Are you someone who responds to hurt by lashing out internally or externally? How can you work on this? This can help in reflection on how you respond to anger.

Photo by Simran Sood on Unsplash

Anger can first be seen inside as you are processing the feelings. Fox News shares, “When someone gets angry, their heart rate, blood pressure and energy hormones, like adrenaline, in our body increase, according to the American Psychological Association.” (FoxNews) This shows how when one becomes angry it starts inside and then can become an external issue. It is also important to think of the consequences that would come from your actions and those you are hurting. Fox News states that “Fisher recommends first aid techniques to deal with anger: “Stop. Think. Take look at the bigger picture. And think of the consequences.” (FoxNews) It is also important to think of other options such as deescalating the situation and speaking privately later. Fox News states that “Fisher also said Smith could have removed himself from the situation to avoid how it escalated: “He could have pulled Chris Rock aside afterward, or given his wife the choice and the space to do that herself”.(FoxNews)

It is important to evaluate the problem and how it could be better solved than with violence. There are always other options than violence. Taking time to communicate and forgive one another is always the better option for everyone involved.



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