When we are angry...
Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves;
~ Mark 11:15
The things that can make us angry. Some would ask, "Where can I submit my list?"
I had once heard, "Beware the anger of a patient person."
Anger is real, has a purpose in our lives, and next to love, it is something we all know something about.
Ten years ago while working primarily with youth living on the streets of Houston, I remember someone asking me why I always seemed to be angry? I hadn't noticed the change in me. I was busy going to meetings to discuss what could be done with this population while still pastoring a congregation and working as a chaplain in a local hospital.
While I was busy trying to "save the world," as someone coined years ago, I suddenly began to realize that what the person said was beginning to make sense. I really did seem to be angry all the time. The hats I wore were always about advocating and helping people, and I realized that no where was I taking time away to see what this life seemed to be doing to me!
Anger without reason, or anger without purpose, doesn't necessarily serve us well. Unless you're a world class boxer and find that this is what helps you through the fight.
Don't get me wrong. I think people have a lot to be angry about. The question is, how is the anger changing, benefitting, or being resolved in and by you?
The greatest carriers of justice, including many great peace makers have become angry at some point about something and that has made them want to change something.
What if the anger you are feeling is aimed at God?
At least once a week I will spend time with someone who will share, "I am angry at God."
First and foremost, being able to be angry at God is a real thing, and that being mad at God doesn't mean that God loves us less. A diagnosis that changes your life. The loss of a loved one. The close of a company where you have invested your career. All things that can seem to validate the reason you feel the way you do.
I often remind folks that God has "big shoulders," but also that God knows the heart that we have.
The important thing to do is to talk about what it is that is making you angry, and then find a way to do something about it. I have seen the longterm effects of anger in families, relationships, and what happens to a person when they are still angry about something as they lay dying.
We have a God that knows so much about us, that expressing our anger can help to bring us closer to a happier and peaceful life.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.