Anger Management - Lecrae, feat. Thi'sl
I had never thought myself an angry person. That's certainly not how I would want to describe myself. (Un)fortunately, as you continue to live in close relationship with others, that's the sort of thing that gets revealed to you. I've realized, I have a tendency to get pretty frustrated with others. This has been most recently revealed to me in marriage, but I can look back now and realize that it started well before that. I can have flashbacks to childhood and recall my frustration. My anger and frustration is born of things that I wanted to control, normally simple things that shouldn't cause someone to get angry. But, my insatiable desire to have things under control continued to drive frustration and anger.
This anger and general frustration is rooted in a desire for other people to conform to my ideals, which, is a losing game. There's no grace in that. So, instead of being reminded how I can serve others, I think about how something is a frustration to me. It's a direct reflection of my disobedience to rest in the work of Christ. Our identities are not held within what we accomplish or how comfortable we are.
This past weekend at Sojourn, our pastor Brandon exhorted us from the book of 1 Peter, chapter 1 verses 13 to 21. He opened by summarizing an article from professor Stan van Hooft, an Australian philosopher, The Necessity of Hope. van Hooft's observation is that the world is in chaos without hope, but he states that we need to hold out hope in something. It's all too common for us to hope in something that ultimately does not fulfill us. We want things so badly, and are left empty by them in the end.
The thing that we want most, and what we hope in tomorrow impacts and governs how we live today, and who we are today. Our hope impacts our holiness. It impacts all of our daily decisions. Instead of setting my hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us in Christ, I've chosen to set my hope on other things, namely control. When my hope is not in Christ, but in control, the lack of control that I realize exists breeds frustration.
Proverbs 16:32 is a verse that reminds us that those who are slow to anger bring calm and sound judgement into a situation. I can certainly say that my anger never leads to calmness and sound judgement. That is a rich truth that I need to remind myself of, and rely on more often.
Close relationship with someone, or plans not going your way isn't what causes anger and frustration. Those are just lenses where we can see our sinfulness revealed. If our hope is to become more and more like Christ, then we can be thankful that we are allowed to have that sinfulness revealed to us, and can witness and welcome the grace of Christ.
I used to think I let go of things like water off a duck's back. Not true at all. I know I can use some "Anger Management"; hope in Christ.