Human anger

By Dave Henning / July 11, 2016

” . . . I believe that human anger is designed by God to motivate us to take constructive action in the face of wrongdoing or when facing injustice.”- Dr. Gary Chapman

“A man is about as big as the things that make him angry.”- Winston Churchill

In Chapter 2 of Anger (“When Anger Can Do Good”), Gary Chapman states we don’t understand God’s design for anger very well.  Our usual response is to get angry when things don’t go our way.  In contrast, Dr. Chapman believes, God Himself illustrates that He designed anger to motivate us to take constructive action.

The Bible, Gary observes, “draws a clear parallel between God’s anger and His love.”  For example, in the Old Testament God sent messengers like the prophet Jeremiah to proclaim His displeasure with evil behavior and call the people to repentance.  Additional action only followed failure of the people to repent.  Therefore, Dr. Chapman summarizes:

“The divine model is clear: God’s response to anger is always to take loving action, to seek to stop the evil, and to redeem the evildoer.”

Gary strongly underscores that anger is not designed to drive us to any type of destructive action.   Nor does anger give us license to say destructive things.  The author reiterates:

Anger’s fundamental purpose is to motivate us to positive, loving action that will leave things better than we found them.”

Anger signals that something needs our attention, like a red light flashing on a car dashboard.  Anger can be a powerful and positive motivator- or raging, uncontrolled force.

In the heat of the moment, the wonderful and positive purposes of anger seem to elude us.  Rather than setting things right, we make things worse.

Today’s question: What do you think of God’s fundamental purpose for human anger?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Fly into a rage”

About the author

Dave Henning

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