Summary: Possible causes of anger in people today and what to do about it


1999 by Mark Beaird

Text: Ecclesiastics 7:9

"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."

"Do not become quickly provoked," the scripture tells us. Anger does seem to get out of control easily doesn't it? Sometimes we become angry so quickly that by the time we realize we're fuming we can't remember why. All we know is that we're mad!

n In a press conference, Marty Carter, a new safety for the Chicago Bears had this to say about their rivalry with the Green Bay Packers, "I'm supposed to hate something, but I'm not sure what. I wasn't even here last year, and I'm mad." (Leadership, Vol. 17, no.1)

Doesn't that seem like us at times? Being angry seems to be a part of living in this world. We live in an age of out-of-control law suits, protests, school massacres carried out by children, business place massacres carried out by employees and customers. We're mad as we can be and we're not going to take it any more.

To begin with, there is no way that we can excuse the immature tirades of a few overgrown spoiled children pitching temper tantrums in our society. However, in order to understand why it seems so many are living a life fill with angry emotions consider with me several common frustrations that we all face.


A. Unwelcome circumstances present themselves constantly.

Often the source of our frustration comes from our jobs. (Rowell, 60)

n Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoon strip, conducted his Second Annual "Highly Unscientific Dilbert Survey," asking this question:

"If you had a chance to hit your boss in the back of the head with one of the following objects, with no risk of being caught, which would you use?" Here are the percentages for respondents' answer:

A large bean burrito-19 percent

"Nerf" ball-17

Ripe melon-14

Framed certificate of appreciation-13

Outdated computer you are forced to use-13

Your last performance review, including the 600-pound filing

cabinet you keep it in-13

All your coworkers, bound by duct tape and flung from a huge catapult-8

A Ford Pinto with a full tank of gas-7

"I think the bean burrito won because it would make a really cool sound and it would be messy with or without guacamole," said Adams. Over 64 percent of respondents selected a non-lethal response, knowing if their boss were injured, it would mean more work for them. --Lynn Walford for UPI (Rowell, 60)

B. We are often forced to deal with situations not of our own making.

n Zig Ziglar gives this advice concerning dealing with difficult circumstances; "You need to identify the cause of stress. Is it a misunderstanding with a coworker or family member? Is it getting so involved in your responsibility that you lose your sense of perspective for the everyday facets of a balanced lifestyle? If so, what can you do about it? First, if it's a people problem, take time to talk it out. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. If you're wrong, admit it and apologize. You won't lose face. You'll gain respect because you have acknowledged that you're wiser today than you were yesterday. Second, find a pressure release. Take time for yourself, even if just a few minutes. Some quiet reading, a good walk, some relaxation, or a shift of scenery can work wonders." (Pp. 179-80)

What does the Word of God have to say about dealing with these situations?

n Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (NKJ)

n Proverbs 15:18, "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel." (NIV)


A. Achievement is equated with happiness.

n Lee Strobel, teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, offers a unique perspective on life in the nineties:

You really are a person of the 90's…

If you feel like life is whizzing past you at 90 miles an hour. You work 90 hours a week, and you've still got 90 items on your to-do list. You're on a 90-calorie a day diet because you look 90 pounds overweight in your swimming suit.

You've got 90 different bills to pay, and you're already $90 overdrawn-and that's just the interest. You're still paying $90 a month on your student loan, and you don't know where you're going to get $90,000 to send your kids to school.

You've got 90 channels of cable television, and there's still nothing worth watching. You drive your kids to 90 different activities and events a month. Your toddler just asked "Why?' for the 90th time today.

And you think everything would be fine, if you were just making 90 grand a year.

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