Summary: Is anger ever right? When is it wrong? How do we deal with our anger?
Yoda said “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” And Yoda could have been talking about the movie Frozen. Elsa’s fear of losing her sister Ana, led to the explosion that you just saw which ultimately led to the entire kingdom falling into a deep freeze and all the troubles that came from that point on.
This week the staff attended the Global Leadership Summit and one of the speakers was Joseph Grenny, one of the authors of “Crucial Conversations” the subtitle of the book is “Tools for Talking When Stakes are High” Elsa should have been in that session
And if we were honest with ourselves we can track many of our problems in life back to the root of anger.
Because you are angry with someone or something you do something that you later regret. You are working at something and it isn’t doing what you want it to do so you get angry with it and so you yank too hard and you break it. You get angry at your child, spouse, sibling, parent, employer, employee and you say something you wish you could take back. And you can’t take it back, those words that are said in anger are always remembered. And you are thinking “But they said they forgave me.” Yep, but that doesn’t undo the hurt, you can’t unring the bell.
And so you would expect me to say “Let Go of Anger”. After all most people would say that anger is bad, that we should never get angry. It was Buddha who said “Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.”
While Peter O’Donnell wrote “Anger and worry are the enemies of clear thought.” And Ralph Waldo Emerson offered us excellent advice when he wrote “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” And here are words of great wisdom from Ambrose Bierce, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” I’ve given those speeches.
The bible even weighs in on the subject when Solomon wrote in Proverbs 22:24-25 Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul. And again in Proverbs 29:22 An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.
And most of us think of anger as a “Sin”. “Forgive me because I got angry” we pray or we tell the person on the other end of our anger “I’m sorry I was angry.”
And so you would understand if I preached on “Let Go of Your Anger”. But then we have to deal with passages in the bible like Psalm 7:11 God is an honest judge. He is angry with the wicked every day. Or in the New Testament John 3:36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”