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|The Really Rotten Roots of Anger
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted November 28, 2005
It was an innocent piece of pizza. And yet, it became a weapon capable of inflicting unbearable pain. All it took was one misaligned chew, one hard piece of crust and a loud popping noise sent warning that the pain was on its way.
You would think that a broken tooth could be taken care of easily. You simply smooth it off and forget it. Until the cool air or iced tea touch that bit of nerve that is now exposed. That’s when you do the toothache dance of pain.
Many people have the same notion about dealing with anger. All you need to do is stop getting angry. In other words, smooth out your reactions and go on. It’s just not that simple. There is a root cause to anger that is covered by our outward emotional reactions. You can shave off the reactions but all you do is expose the nerve, which causes a greater amount of pain. The only solution is a root canal. Deal with the exposed nerve and the pain will subside.
I don’t want to get lost in the illustration. I’m simply trying to get us to understand that the pain caused in our lives due to anger is not from the topical emotional responses we exhibit when we are angry. The true pain comes from the root-cause of our anger. Most of us will not allow the Lord to go that deep into our lives so we spend a lifetime dealing with symptoms and never the cause.
Last week we looked at the basic root-cause for our anger. We see the world as though we were God. When the world and its occupants do not act as we want, anger is the resulting reaction when our deified nature is insulted. But remember, in any root system there are feelers that come off of the main root. This week I want us to list some of these feelers and then allow the Lord to help us identify whether or not they are a part of how anger gained its control of our lives.
1. Self-centeredness: Luke 15:11-32 Anger due to self-centeredness blinds us to what the Lord is doing in someone’s life.
2. Hate: Jonah 4:4-11 Jonah was willing for an entire city of be destroyed because of his personal feelings toward the people.
3. Learned behavior from parents: Ephesians 6:4 Children learn acceptable behavior patterns from the actions of their parents.
4. Learned behavior from friends: Proverbs 22:24-25 Pay special attention to this passage of scripture.
5. Comparative inadequacies: Genesis 4:1-8 “The amount of hostility people express can usually be correlated with their sense of self-worth at the time and how they feel they measure up.” –Dealing with Anger
Other feelers may include: criticism, perfectionism, guilt, overly competitive, frustration, fear of rejection, unrealistic expectations of self and others. These are just a few of an endless list. Let the Lord speak to you and show you the nerves attached to you anger.
Remember, in order to deal with the control of anger it takes a deity greater than you or me. Only the One true Deity has the wisdom and power to enable us to win the battle with anger. Get to know Him, He loves you and wants you free.
Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
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