Understanding Anger

Author:
Dr. James Dobson


Listed below are the aspects of anger which are most important to remember:

1. Strong negative feelings are accompanied by biochemical changes in the body, which are often set into motion by involuntary forces.

2. The word “anger” has come to represent a wide variety of emotions. Some of these feelings, such as responses to frustration, fatigue, embarrassment or rejection may not be sinful in the sight of God.

3. Carnal anger, by contrast, is motivated by an evil nature inherited by the entire human race. It is characterized by vindictiveness, hostility, resentment, and a desire to hurt or damage another person. This reaction, whether expressed or hidden, is resoundingly condemned in the Bible.

4. A Christian can be in greater spiritual danger when he has been a victim than when he was the aggressor. Nothing justifies an attitude of bitterness.

5. Strong negative feelings should not be repressed or pushed into the unconscious mind, but should be released in a manner that is not spiritually destructive or harmful to another person.

6. Distressing negative feelings can often be pacified and eliminated by recognizing the human vulnerability and frailty of the person who offends us. This is the “Christian perspective,” and can be learned with the help of the Holy Spirit.

7. Christians differ in the degree to which they manifest the characteristics of a mature relationship with God. Each willing person is led by the Holy Spirit toward greater Christlikeness.

8. There is no greater opportunity to influence our fellowman for Christ than to respond with love when we have been unmistakably wronged and assaulted. On those occasions, the difference between Christian love and the values of the world are most brilliantly evident.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5).

From Emotions: Can You Trust Them? by Dr. James Dobson.
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