I came across this comment by Doug Jones while looking for something else. It was like a kick in the belly.

Christ have mercy!

In truth, anger is an art, a rare art. In Scripture, God shows us holy and frightening anger. In Jeremiah 7, the Lord says, “Do they not provoke Me to anger?….’Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place — on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched.'” Terrifying anger. We also see it in the life of Jesus, when he overthrows the moneychangers at the Temple.

But this sort of anger is an art. Righteous anger is very rare. Because we see it so much in Scripture we assume that just any amateur can do it. It is truly something that should most often not be tried at home.

What we call anger in our families, especially in fathers, is usually a covering, a mask. Usually a mask for some unspoken guilt in the angry person himself. The angry person has failed in some way, feels guilty, has failed to carry out some responsibility, has abdicated in some petty way, and when someone else, maybe accidentally highlights his abdication, he covers it with an explosion of wrath.

Anger makes you look holy. It seems to raise you up to God’s level, where no one dare question you again. It sends everyone scattering so no one can point out your sin. It gives you the moral high ground from which you judge all other complaints. Anger most often, then, is a gross lie. When we see a loss of temper, the angry should be on notice that the first question we will ask is What is he guilty of? What shame is he hiding? What failure does he wish to cover? That’s what anger means 99 percent of the time.

Advertisements