Why do you get angry?

Posted on February 28, 2015 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Anger is most often a response to a perceived injustice. In other words, all that has to happen to become angry is to think an injustice has been committed, even if the wrong never occurred. For example:

You come home and your other car is not in the driveway. You become angry because you automatically assume your son has taken it without permission. Then you find out he is doing errand for your wife. Your angry subsides. You were angry at a perceived injustice.

This is one reason Paul commands that you not let the sun go down on your anger. You could be angry about something that never really happened. So, Paul says, “in your anger do not sin.”

Thus, your first response to anger should be one of patient inquiry. Are you angry at something that is a misconception on your part? The way to bring honor God is to first find out if an injustice was actually committed. You cannot teach your children this unless you practice this yourself.

If you seek God and your loved ones to help you to purse a path of patient inquiry when you become angry you will have taken a huge step to prevent being controlled by anger.

If you can be patient to investigate what actually occurred, then you can also be patient to pursue how God wants you to respond when you are sinned against. Even if a wrong has been committed against you, God wants you to return good for evil. He wants you to represent his Son well and not just fly off the handle in a self-righteous outburst or to feel deeply hurt. He wants you to show the love of Christ to the one who has sinned against you.

If you follow this path of patient inquiry you put yourself in the best position to love God and those close to you. Your discipline and correction will be based on obedient love and not your own destructive anger or frustration. You will be a great model for your children to teach them how to deal with their perceived reasons for anger.

Patient inquiry is a biblical alternative to being ruled by anger. There is much more that needs to be said about anger, but this is a good place to start.

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.