Why Are We So Angry?

Why Are We So Angry?

Why are we so angry in a country that offers so much? We have much to be thankful for but our news and social media is filled with anger and violence. There seems to be less tolerance, respect and restraint while everyone is quick to blame someone else for their problems.

Anger itself is a normal emotion experienced by all humans from time to time and can serve as functional for survival. It can potentially boost determination to correct wrong behaviors and facilitate social justice and redress grievances. Uncontrolled anger however can negatively affect personal and social well-being and negatively impact those around us. In its strongest form, anger impairs one’s ability to process information and to exert self-control. Anger, if not dealt with, can become very destructive.

When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord.4 Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift,5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. Gen 4:3-8

God warned Cain that his anger needed to be controlled and that he had a choice to do what was right. Instead he chose to kill his brother out of jealousy and hurt feelings. We always have a choice in how we respond no matter how great the perceived or real provocation, hurt or threat. Jesus taught about judging others and dealing with anger. We need to look at ourselves first to see if we caused any conflict and be the peacemakers.

Jonah is a well known prophet with an amazing whale of a tale. Jonah did not believe the Ninevites deserved a second chance. He finally dragged his feet to the city proclaiming their eminent destruction. He watched for the fire and brimstone to rain down but when it didn’t- he became angry. Jonah waited some distance from the city while God provided a leafy plant for shade. Jonah was happy for his personal comfort but then God provided a worm to eat the plant.

 “Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?” “Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”10 Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly.11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” Jonah 4:9-11

Jonah was self centered and forgot how God forgave and protected him. Jonah had been given a second chance and God reprimanded him for his uncaring attitude for all those lost people. The book of Jonah is the only book in the Bible to end in a question. God cares about people and how we respond to others.

People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.
30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Prov 14:29-30

26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,. Eph 4:26

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Cor 13:4-7

It is not a sin to feel angry but how we respond to our feelings can be. We need to recognize it, control it, deal with it and do the right thing. We always have a choice!

Hanger and Road Rage

Hanger and Road Rage

I find it quite incredulous that in this country, with so many freedoms, luxuries and privileges, words like “hanger” and “road rage” have become so common.  Most of us have more than enough food to eat in our homes and there is always a store around the corner. We have no reason to be “hungry – angry” just because our tummies rumble!

Road rage is almost epidemic with incidents displayed daily on the evening news. In roadrageMassachusetts one man was torqued off by a young woman who passed him on the road, so he shot her in the head. This is absolutely shocking behavior over a minor and temporary inconvenience while the consequences for both parties is devastating and permanent. What is wrong with our society that normal people show no self-control? Why are these  knee-jerk reactions out of proportion to the minor infractions?

The book of Genesis tells us we live in a fallen world where conflict is inevitable. Anger angry-man-may be the emotional response to a situation but it does not remove personal responsibility for one’s actions. It started back in the Garden of Eden when Cain was angry that his sacrifice was not accepted but his brother Able’s was.  God offered a warning and told Cain he had a choice.

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”    Gen 4:6-7 (NLT)

Cain decided to kill his brother instead of doing the right thing and the punishment was severe. We also have a choice inyoda-quote-path-to-the-darkside-696x365 how we respond to conflict, inconvenience and even pain inflicted by someone else. Anger can flare when we perceive that someone has violated our “rights”. Sometimes yielding our right to get even can deescalate a situation. We need to ask God for His intervention in our own hearts.

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil……31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.   Eph. 4:26-27,31-32 (NLT)

If we take the time to think about it, Jesus yielded all of His rights. He left the splendor of heaven to be born in a barn to a poor family. He grew up in a small town and was often misunderstood. Jesus did no wrong but instead preached, healed the sick and did many miracles. Then Jesus was betrayed and suffered an excruciating death for our sin.  But because Jesus had victory over death and sin we too can have victory daily through the power of the Holy Spirit.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!      Gal 5:22-23 (NLT)

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Contrary to a recent political statement, we should not “kick back” when pushed. Choose God’s way – the high way.  Let our driving be our witness and let’s not be hangry anymore.