September 1, 2014

Anger, Wrath and Sloth

AngerWanting to punch people in the nose is probably not a good attitude with which to go around.  I’m fairly sure it’s also not a particularly Christian attitude, not if I take the “Turn the other cheek” bit seriously.

I’ve been angry lately.  I’ve been angry for a while, in fact, and I notice I’m both getting angrier and getting angry more easily.  I am swearing more, and using profanity more readily both in speech and in writing.  That’s all part of it.

Anger feels great, sometimes.  It revs you up, gives you a burst of energy, and most importantly, makes you feel like you’re doing something.

Some idiot writes or says something particularly stupid and insulting on the internet?  Hit the keyboard and write a blistering post to excoriate him or her, then bask in the glow of gratified fury.

This is great, because it makes you feel like you’ve done something, anything, when in reality you haven’t affected the situation at all.  You very probably haven’t changed anyone’s mind by firing off your angry shredding of their position, and very likely entrenched them in their position.  So it’s entirely possible you’ve made things worse, not better.

And yet, the opposite of anger is sloth a shrugging, careless, “what can you do?” attitude that tells us that it’s impossible – or at least highly unlikely – that we can change anything, so it’s useless to even try.  That makes us accept that this is the way the world is, life is unfair, you can’t fight city hall.

Anger is addictive.  The rush of adrenaline, the feeling of daring, the warming glow of self-righteousness, the appearance of having done something in reaction to an evil, and the safety of anonymous or pseudonymous posting on the Internet, where nobody can reach through the computer screen and punch you in the nose, means that quite often we end up looking for excuses to be angry.  We search for something to outrage us, so we can have an excuse to get angry and indulge in our drug of choice.

To quote Tolkien from The Hobbit, Chapter Four, ‘Under Hill and Over Hill’:

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something (or so Thorin said to the young dwarves).  You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.  So it proved on this occasion.

So it proves on many occasions, when we go looking for a chance to vent our anger, or to stoke our anger in the first place.  Anger leads to contempt: instead of regarding others with charity, as we are enjoined to do, and as St. Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 13: 6 “[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth”, we rather rejoice at what we perceive as the deliberate wrongdoing or the insuperable stupidity of others, because it gives us a chance to point out ‘the right way’ and to mock them, insult them, vaunt our superiority, and plume ourselves on how much smarter, nicer, more sophisticated, and better in every way we are.

The price we pay for this is that we need that fix of anger more and more, and instead of becoming the better, nicer, smarter people we like to think of ourselves as being, we build up a store of aggression – that may even manifest itself in physical violence in real life – and a hair-trigger temper.  We end up with an anger that builds up and blows like Etna over a triviality: we had to wait in line longer than we thought reasonable, that person deliberately stole our parking place, how can your friend Sheila not see she’s making a fool of herself with her “mutton dressed as lamb”, all those people I work with are fools and liars.

And yet we have come to value anger as a sign of authenticity and sincerity, which are displayed as badges of worth and belief in the right thing.  As Yeats put it in “The Second Coming:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

I don’t’ know if you’re familiar with the Enneagram.  It’s a type of personality test for which, in Catholic circles, there was a positive craze in the 80s and 90s under the guise of spiritual direction (a lot of Jesuits were pushing it), to the point that the Vatican Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issued a document called “Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the ‘New Age’ ” in 2000.

It says of the Enneagram:

“Enneagram: (from the Greek ennéa = nine + gramma = sign) the name refers to a diagram composed of a circle with nine points on its circumference, connected within the circle by a triangle and a hexangle.  It was originally used for divination, but has become known as the symbol for a system of personality typology consisting of nine standard character types.  It became popular after the publication of Helen Palmer’s book The Enneagram, but she recognizes her indebtedness to the Russian esoteric thinker and practitioner G.I. Gurdjieff, the Chilean psychologist Claudio Naranjo and author Oscar Ichazo, founder of Arica.  The origin of the enneagram remains shrouded in mystery, but some maintain that it comes from Sufi mysticism.”

I had several enthusiastic people back in the day pushing this thing at me as a great key to understanding one’s inner self and helping one’s spiritual life, and my opinion of it is that as long as you don’t take it too seriously or treat it with the same credence as the word of God,  it’s mostly harmless and no worse than doing an online personality test of the type so popular nowadays.  Anyway, to quote you one personality type, the Type Eight, which is classed as the Leader, the Protector, the Challenger, the Boss:  they can use anger as a weapon, as a means of testing others and as an expression of what they perceive as honesty and cutting through the bull, where it comes off to others as domineering or throwing their weight around.

Eights see how you react to their anger as being indicative of who you really are; that it cuts through the polite social façade.  The trouble with this approach, as you can see for yourself, is that it means a constant attitude of “Ah- ha!  I knew you were only pretending to be a nice guy!” when they’ve pushed someone beyond his or her limits and they snap.  That’s unfair, but it makes the Eight-type feel justified in themselves as the only honest man or woman out there, the crusader for truth and justice, protecting others by their hard-nosed approach to life.

Meanwhile the people who have to live and work with them or interact with them at all see them as angry jerks who like making others miserable.

Those of us who look for excuses to indulge our anger may like to think of ourselves as St. Jerome, often regarded as the angry saint for his polemics.  What we should be thinking is that saints are not perfect – that is not what sainthood means (despite the unfortunate tendency of hagiographies to turn their subjects into perfect people with no flaws from childhood onwards) – a saint is a fallen human being who was a sinner and who needed to be redeemed like the rest of us, and that it is possible to be a saint and still have flaws that need to be struggled with and overcome, like St. Paul’s thorn in the flesh from 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9:

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Anger feels great, and so the voice of conscience gets repressed and we even tell ourselves that it’s a medicinal anger, that because I hated doing it, it was good for me to overcome my objections and express myself like that.  We like to convince ourselves that our anger is a righteous anger, not a mere indulgence of temper.

Too many of us like throwing the Wrath of God around and of course, if we’re being angry in a good cause or doing the Lord’s work then we like to think we’re justified.  We’re modeling Christ scourging the moneylenders out of the Temple!  We’re St. Jerome attacking the hedonism and wantonness of life in Rome amongst both laity and clergy, and trouncing the heretics!  We tend to forget that a well-meaning if ignorant person on the Internet who gets a point of unfamiliar doctrine wrong is not in the same league as the Pelagians, and that a rhetorical style modeled on the training for the Roman law courts (where presenting your case for or against meant not arguing on the evidence but on trying to convince the hearers that the opposing party was an idiot and a criminal) is not the best way to demonstrate Christian charity in lovingly rebuking an errant brother.

Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord – so is anger.  From St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologica”:

“It is the same with anger; for when a man is angry, he wishes to be avenged on someone.  Hence the movement of anger has a twofold tendency: viz. to vengeance itself, which it desires and hopes for as being a good, wherefore it takes pleasure in it; and to the person on whom it seeks vengeance, as to something contrary and hurtful, which bears the character of evil.”

Anger is not always wrong, and there is such a thing as righteous anger, but it is too easy for us to conflate our desire to show ourselves in the right with a desire for justice, and too easy to let a desire for vengeance persuade us that we’re only being zealous in trying to correct a wrong.

I can tell the bad effect my indulgence in anger is having on me: my lack of patience, my increasing irascibility, my willingness to believe the worst of others regarding their intentions and motivations, my rushing to judge others as stupid or wicked or both, my taking personal offense from general statements that are not aimed at me and have little to do with me, my craving to show off by cutting the ground out from under my opponent, my thinking of the person as an opponent when they don’t know me or the sky over me.  I will try to curb it.  Maybe I do still hit the keyboard first and think later, but I’m trying to train myself to step back from my immediate reaction, calm down, and look at my own motives for wanting to rush in with sword waving.

May St. Jerome and all the angry saints intercede for us!

Comments

  1. It stinks, doesn’t it? That we are so often unable to control that ol’ sinner in us.

    Here’s the good news;

    Your sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Can you write a comment that doesn’t sound like a sermon?

    • Dan Crawford says:

      A friend, a Roman Catholic priest, told me about a person who had frequently come to confession to have forgiven time after time sins of anger. The priest had some concern that nothing seemed to change for this individual, so one day, acting on what he believed was the urging of the Holy Spirit, he asked: “What do you listen to every day as you drive to work?” The answer: “Talk radio”, especially the ranters who make politics the only topic of their shows. The priest told the penitent: ” Your penance is to fast from talk radio for the next two weeks”, Several weeks later, the penitent reported that, more and more, the anger seemed to slip away, as pleasant music and the occasional program on a local Catholic station became the usual far on the drive to and from work. It’s difficult to be sane when anger is all too often the air we breathe in this society, and what scares me most are those who claim their anger is religiously righteous while fixing their hope not on Christ but on their own obsessions.

      • Martha mentioned the addictive nature of anger, and I believe that addiction is a grave danger in most sins or vices, often more than the sin/vice itself.

        Gollum, for example, and the ring: “My precioussss… yesss, my precioussss…

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Over at Slacktivist, someone mentioned a novel where the protag’s father makes a mid-life career change to a Perpetually Angry Talk Radio host because his career is faltering and he needs a new source of income. He ends up being the next Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck with fanatical Dittohead-like followers but is in it purely for the money.

    • Amen!

      And I like Steve’s sermons. They’re short, sweet, and true! I like the reminder…it’s all about Jesus.

    • Yes. This is an encouragement. Thank you.

  2. I’ll just put this here since someone is bound to… (yes, it is relevant to the discussion)
    http://xkcd.com/386/

  3. Excellent post, Martha! This is exactly what I have been struggling with lately, except that I can’t even claim the redeeming excuse of arguing for a cause. My speech has simply been mean and cutting, under the guise of being clever. I am brought to my knees at the words of St. James:

    Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

    St. James, pray for us!

  4. Mike Dunster says:

    It is so hard to ‘speak the truth in love’, to neither remain silent nor give in to wrath. As a long-time struggler with sloth/acedia, I am one of those who tend towards saying nothing, who all too easily (like you say) believe you can’t change things, and I need constant kicking (metaphorical) to ensure I don’t just take the path of least resistance.

  5. I wish you well with the anger issue, Martha, and pray with you, “May St. Jerome and all the angry saints intercede for us!”

    The current Dalai Lama is said to have written or said, “Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”

    It’s important for us to know when it is best to speak and when it is best to be silent. It’s often difficult to know.

    • Christiane says:

      Hi JOANIE D.

      your comment reminded me of these words from a 14th century prayer of St. Birgitta of Sweden:

      ” . . . O Jesus, Son of God,
      You Who were silent in the presence of Your accusers,
      restrain my tongue
      until I find what I should say and how to say it . . . “

    • Final Anonymous says:

      “It’s often difficult to know”… arghhh, JoanieD, yes… and nearly impossible for me. I read here (and other places) most often as sloth, then tend to reply after “anger” (in quotes because I usually don’t FEEL angry at the time, but realize I was later, when sending the comment brings relief and closure, instead of a desire to continue the conversation).

      I will say I have greatly quelled this tendency in real life and rarely respond in anger (many hard-learned lessons later). But all bets are off on the message boards; we never really do conquer our sinful sides all together, do we?

  6. Well done, as always, Martha! The Seven Deadly Sins continue to haunt our souls. While I am currently giving gluttony a run (sweet tooth since I quit smoking!!) anger is a close second…and as you pointed out, it is easy to find and express from a keyboard on ones’ couch. This is NOT a defense of my anger or anyone else’s……but I can say that when it feels as if half the world has gone mad, saying that black is white and that the sun rises in the west, it is SO easy to get furious, out of frustration and fear.

  7. Martha, I read the website, Sacred Space, which is sponsored by some Irish Jesuits. They do a daily meditation and also start the week off with a short article. This week’s article is about humble, compassionate people and part of what they wrote is, “They are kind enough to see that the badness of most people is due to the little love they may have received in their lives. They give their hearts and heads and hands to God so that God may work through them.” and “They have renounced their attempts to run their own lives, and in surrendering themselves to God they experience a joy that lifts them. They have become so attuned to God that they have also gratefully tuned into the wavelength of service.”

    It is not easy to be humble and compassionate when we feel we have been wronged. I know!

  8. Adam Tauno Williams says:

    > Anger is not always wrong, and there is such a thing as righteous anger,

    So true; there is a very real danger of being afflicted with terminal niceness, the refusal to name evil leaves one a culpable participant. I see this often in evangelical refugees, they swing from the pendulum’s one maximum position [there is a great deal of fear in evangelicalism, and the inevitably corresponding anger] to the other – one of scandalous indifference and disaffection. It can often seem that anger is the better position; anger will at least engage [to some degree] in the conversation, indifference is impenetrable.

    >I can tell the bad effect my indulgence in anger is having on me:

    I had ‘anger management’ issues’ for a long time; I began life loaded with anger and bitterness, bathed in meanness and crudity. To say I was short of patience and irritable would have been an epic understatement. Just ask my wife. As a word of hope to anyone with the same issues I can say definitively that there is escape; the beast can be backed into its cage. And life is better with him just railing against the bars rather than trashing the room; much better. If someone has been burning for a long time it is possible to completely forget how exhausting being angry is – until you’ve gone a day without it. I turned the corner towards victory in that struggle several years ago and the world is still a bit shiny with the glow of deliverance.

  9. Anger, the bane of my existence. Is it a sin? Is it good? Bad? Healthy? Helpful? I struggle with not showing anger, but it comes out in other ways such as depression. I do not have an answer.

  10. Jerry Goodman says:

    I believe that we all struggle in our realities of life. I do. The one thing I am realizing is the truth that in ourselves we are more weak than we know or want to admit. That is why I need to lean into God more than myself. I believe that the writers of the Psams wrote about asking God to search our hearts and reveal anything that is offensive and that I might confess that and repent (reverse my journey). The more we see ourselves missing the mark, the more we need Jesus Christ who paid the price we couldn’t on the cross. Help us O’ Lord to see Jesus who carried our sins . . . anger here . . . suffered, died, and has arisen to bring victory over our sins and struggles. I, as our friends need Jesus’ righteousness, peace, and the joy of the Holy Spirit. Amen

  11. Martha,

    If it had been Mke, Mike, or Jeff writing this article I would have replied that they might be suffering from low T… somehow I don’t think this applies to you…..

    • David Cornwell says:

      And a little armpit cream and all is well?

    • Radagast, l don’t think I need any help in that department ;-)

      No, I noticed lately that I’ve had an itchy trigger finger, so to speak; logging on to my favourite sites and looking for an excuse to get into a discussion. Which isn’t really a discussion, it’s a chance to lock horns and get into a slanging match – now, part of that is Irish, because we love a good argument, but as I said – when I found myself looking for reasons to be affronted, then I had to step back and say “What is going on here?”

      • Christiane says:

        maybe it’s too much caffeine, MARTHA
        . . . cut back on your tea and/or coffee consumption and see if you notice a change

        This worked for me when I taught in the inner city . . . I was much calmer decaffeinated :)

        • Christiane, I used to take a quart thermos of decaf with me to work until I decided that it was making me feel angry. Some of the worst mood trips I’ve had have been on decaffeinated coffee, even organic whole-bean coffee. Organic fair-trade with caffeine doesn’t bother me (I’m down to 2 cups/day),but you and Martha may react differently.

        • Caffiene has always caused me to be way over the top… I just don’t like to put people around me through it so I don’t do caffiene… which also includes soft drinks and chocolate (although chocolate cake is something that I can’t pass up).

          Ditto on the talk radio thing… I quit listening by the early 2000′s for the reason stated above… I was always angry. These days I am more of an observer of things I cannot change… makes good conversation at times.

          And Martha, when I think I am over the top… I go sit in front of the tabernacle for a while (and if I drift off thats ok too… I probably needed it). If I am really off kilter then I go on retreat (maybe once a year).

          As for sloth…. generally I am always so busy… even in my personal life that I don’t think I qualify BUT..it may be pathological and I should probably talk to someone about it… if I had time…

          Maybe if there were still good movies around… or an old movie channel where I could still see stuff like Arsenic and Old Lace… then I could see myself as slothful… laying around on the couch… but then there’s that hammer calling my name…

      • Martha, maybe you are just looking for some exciting conversation, What was the name of the group that C.S. Lewis was a member of where they would gather to talk/argue/philosophize? I bet it was intellectually invigorating. You probably have a difficult time finding people who can keep up with you intellectually. There is no way I could keep up with you! My husband often says he would like to be in a room filled with people who are smarter than he is. He never finds that room! He gets bored with what he calls “mundane” conversations.

      • These are generalizations, but often hit the bulls eye in my life.

        Anger is often, in men especially, a symptom of depression. Anger and depression are flip sides of the same coin.

        Anger can be a response to either physical or emotional pain.

        Anger may be a response to unmet expectations and/or the loss of a dream or desire.

        When I catch myself being unreasonably angry I start asking, “Why?”

    • No, no, Low-T symptoms are only not being able to play baseball with your buddies anymore and you being sad for some reason when you look at your pretty wife! At least that’s what the commercials keep telling me!

      This comment also made me lol because my husband jokes that it must be his Low-T when he’s not being “manly”.

  12. Phil Herndon says:

    I am a very long time reader of IM and look forward to logging on as part of my morning routine. I believe what is being talked about here is actually “rage,” and not anger. Rage is actually a response of fear; a “get away from me or I’ll hurt you,” reaction whereas true anger is passion to desire change, truth, and justice. For those interested, here is a link to consider:

    http://chipdodd.com/eight-feelings/

    I LOVE the IM!

  13. David Cornwell says:

    Anger is strange. Plant the seed and give it a little nourishment and it takes hold, grows like a weed, one with thorns, stinging our insides and biting those around us. And it loves that encouragement. See the look in someone’s eyes, or the bristle they direct back at us, and the vile root is fed and goes deeper. However it eventually wraps itself around our very heart and smothers out the life we have within us.

    And if we live according to its dictates, we will probably die from the retaliatory arrows pointed back at us, and of necessity from the argument we have given the Accuser before God.

    “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive…”

  14. “Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back–in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”

    ? Frederick Buechner

  15. Father Stephen Freeman, on his excellent blog “Glory to God for All Things,” wrote on anger a few years ago. As I remember it, he said that while theoretically it is possible not to sin in our anger, in practical terms we are always sinful in being angry and should pray for the grace to conquer it. Many readers objected, because, I suppose, righteous anger feels so *right,* but the more I think about it the more I agree with him.

  16. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Wanting to punch people in the nose is probably not a good attitude with which to go around. I’m fairly sure it’s also not a particularly Christian attitude…

    But sometimes the urge to choke the stupid out of people just gets overwhelming.

  17. From where I’m sitting here in Crusading California, I believe that there is an addiction to “Righteous Anger” in our culture, especially among the intelligentsia and Millennials. How we all love to fire down from on high, to get our panties in a bunch in the name of the Righteous Cause! Because, if you’re not getting angry, you must not be paying attention! The world is falling apart and it’s up to me to correct everyone and everything by getting mad and telling them how bad they are for not thinking like me!

    I’m naturally an angry, irascible sort of lady, and like Adam mentioned before, it’s very tiring to be so mad all the time. I’ve had to learn this lesson over and over again in my life, and will probably keep going round and round with it. In addition to trying to curb the rage personally, I’ve also had to distance myself from unreasonably negative and flagrantly angry friends, since they tend to easily pull me down with them.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Righteous Cause! Because, if you’re not getting angry, you must not be paying attention! The world is falling apart and it’s up to me to correct everyone and everything by getting mad and telling them how bad they are for not thinking like me!

      All 4,871 Kyle’s Mom Activist Groups with 4,871 completely-different (and mutually-contradictory) Righteous Causes that must be done NOW NOW NOW! WAR ON TOBACCO! WAR ON HOMOPHOBIA! WAR ON OBESITY! WAR ON GLOBAL WARMING! URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! URGENT!” All giving their own 4,871 Urgent Righteous Cause TOP PRIORITY URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! URGENT!!!!!!!”

      All those Righteous Activists screaming in their poopy diapers, throwing continuous temper tantrums that THEIR Cause isn’t at the top of the list.
      And all the rest of us are collateral damage.
      Just eggs to be cracked for the Perfect Righteous Omelet.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      I just realized what all this is.

      It’s the secular version of Culture War Without End, Amen.

      Teen Mania, Acquire the Fire, Wretched Urgency, you name it. Complete with the rage and sneer at all us Lukewarm Backsliders who are not Completely Committed to The Righteous Cause. Righteous Yoke after Righteous Yoke, Burden after Burden after Burden breaking all those bruised reeds. Coming from 4,871 Centers of the Universe.

  18. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    That’s unfair, but it makes the Eight-type feel justified in themselves as the only honest man or woman out there, the crusader for truth and justice, protecting others by their hard-nosed approach to life.

    That sounds like that online graphic novel biography of Ayn Rand I read recently.

    Those of us who look for excuses to indulge our anger may like to think of ourselves as St. Jerome, often regarded as the angry saint for his polemics.

    Someone told me the reason St Jerome translated the Bible into Latin was his bishop assigned him to the task to keep him out of trouble. Apparently St Jerome was the type of guy who was either looking for a fight or could walk into a room and antagonize everyone else just by entering.

  19. Christiane says:

    I don’t know . . . is possible ‘venting’ can be a good thing for the ‘venter’ and the ‘recipients’ as long as it is a very rare occurrence . . . but used with some people, it can be a disaster, hence need for discernment . . .

    . . . on a regular basis, of course always better to show
    ‘patience, forebearance (longsuffering), kindness . . . especially with the young and the elderly,
    and with any who are obviously more emotionally fragile in ways and need to be gently cared for
    ( though sometimes it’s the ‘tough kids’ in a school who are in this more emotionally fragile category, paradoxically)

  20. Bill O’Reilly comes strongly to my mind. Until he moved away, a guy named O’Leary kept this neighborhood constantly stirred up. Pattern? I would nominate Jerome for All Time Jerk in Christian History altho there are some close runners up. Jesus only seemed to get angry at religious abusers, perhaps a lesson there.

    The worst part about chronic anger in my view is the damage it does to yourself, Closely followed by the damage it does to others. Struggle of my life, and one I hope I am winning with God’s help. Some of it may indeed by hormonal in nature. Brain chemistry is a delicate balance.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Bill O’Reilly comes strongly to my mind. Until he moved away, a guy named O’Leary kept this neighborhood constantly stirred up.

      And before that there was Wally George and Morton Downey Jr (whose logo was an open screaming mouth).

  21. br.thomas says:

    I would suggest that it might be more helpful, and in the long run more trans-formative, to explore the source of one’s anger. We are angry for a reason; often we blame others or our circumstances for our anger when the real source of anger is within us. There is a real danger, for us personally as well as for people around us, if we suppress or ignore the source of our anger. Personally, I tend to think that emotions in and of themselves are not “negative’ – it is what we do with our emotions and how we express them that can become hurtful. Just like I would not ignore the red warning light on the dashboard of my car or figure out how to get it to stop blinking, I would not ignore or stuff any strong emotion, especially those that affect relationships with others. If one does that, it can cause worse problems “under the hood”.

    BTW, your description of the Enneagram 8 type is misleading; the 8 which you describe would be considered as unhealthy or, to use Enneagram language, un-redeemed (like Saddam Hussain, Donald Trump, etc. Examples of healthy 8s include Martin Luther King, FDR, and Indira Gandhi. The use of this tool can be helpful for some, just as Myers-Briggs has been of value in the context of work and relationships.

  22. Anger is an energy
    anger is an energy
    anger is an energy

    May the road rise with you
    may the road rise with you
    may the road rise with you

    Anger is an energy
    anger is an energy
    anger is an energy Public Image Limited/ Johnny (Rotten) Lydon

  23. Ah, the Bible is such an interesting thing, especially when thinking about “anger.”

    Take this, for example, from 2 Kings 2:23-25 (from the NLT):
    - Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. “Go away, baldy!” they chanted. “Go away, baldy!” Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them. From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel and finally returned to Samaria. -

    Now…did Elisha act out of anger? Was his action righteous? Seems awfully extreme on the surface, doesn’t it? I mean, if this happened in today’s society, people would say Elisha needs some anger management classes.

    Contrasted with Elisha’s action is Jesus’ action, from Mathew 26:52-53 (from NLT):
    - “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands[h] of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?” -

    Jesus could’ve done a lot more damage than Elisha did with his two she-bears, yet didn’t. His anger would’ve been just as righteous as Elisha’s, wouldn’t it have?

    Seems to me we should err on the side of Jesus, not Elisha…LOL. Easier said than done, though…especially when there are so many examples in the Bible of God’s righteous anger on display.

    To agree with something Steve says in one of the first posts…I’m just glad Jesus covers my sinful nature with his blood.

  24. Seneca Griggs says:

    If it wasn’t for stupid drivers I’d never be mad.

    I figure it’s there fault.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Sometimes playing dodgem on the freeway I look around at the other cars. All too often every other car is being driven by either a cellphone or a txt msg.

      Yesterday, morning drive-time radip mentioned a news item from San Francisco — a murder on a packed trolley or subway car. Security cams show the perp drawing a heavy automatic pistol, practice-drawing and aiming it at various animate targets for several minutes, even scratching his nose with his gun hand a couple times before settling on a target and shooting. Only as the shot(s) sound out do all the others in the car look up from their tablets and/or smartphones and twittering and texting and notice the gun and shooter.

      Now imagine all these texters and twitterers and websurfers behind the wheels of cars going 50 to 80 on the SoCal freeways and you have an idea what my commute is like most every day.