Tag Archives: handling anger

Handling Anger: Tapping into the potential of the spiritual life.

Most of us haven’t learned to use a tenth of the potential embedded in our Office 365 software or our phones. There is so much more that could be done with them than we are doing. But that’s nothing compared to the mind-boggling potential God has placed in the new self. Continue reading

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Anger: Part of an Integrated Package

So, here is one thing we need to understand. Anger is integrated into the system – your system. You can’t go and pull it out while leaving everything else in place. When I was a kid, TVs had vacuum tubes. On Thursday, when your TV stopped working, you took off the back, pulled the tubes, went down to the drug store (where they had a tube tester), found the bad one, replaced it, and were watching My Three Sons that evening.

We might think that we can do the same thing with anger: just pull it out of our lives like one of those tubes. We want to stop being angry but we don’t want anything else to change. But that won’t work. Here’s why
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Handling Anger: The Beachhead

(This is part 2 in a short series of posts on handling anger responsibly.) Anger has a wide blast radius. All of us are affected by it and some of us are controlled by it. It causes us to do … Continue reading

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Forgiveness (part 1): Breaking the Chain

A relationship with God is like a Baroque music composition: there is a point (what God must do) and a counterpoint (what we do in response). The point/counterpoint structure provides the soundtrack to a life of faith. Point: “He first loved us.” Counterpoint: “We love him.” Point: “He gave himself for us.” Counterpoint: “We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” Point: “The mercies of God.” Counterpoint: “Present your bodies as living sacrifices.” Point: “He has forgiven you in Christ Jesus.” Counterpoint: “Forgive one another.”

When point is present without counterpoint, the soundtrack of our lives loses its power and our talk about God rings hollow. If that continues – God’s work without our response – our children and friends will naturally tune out anything we have to say about God.

There are plenty of examples of the point/counterpoint composition when it comes to forgiveness. Consider these from the lips of Jesus. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Listen to the same point/counterpoint structure in the words of Paul. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” We may be tempted to explain away these challenging words, but we must not do so. This is serious business.

The novelist and teacher Frederich Beuchner writes, “Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun. Continue reading

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