December 11, 2017

Dan Bouchelle: “So You Are Angry?”

Note from CM: This is one of the best posts I have read in a long time. I saw it quoted on another blog and the excerpt was so challenging to me that I knew immediately I had to read the entire piece.

The fact is, many of us are angry. We are angry about a variety of things. Some of us are older, and we’re angry that life didn’t turn out as we’d planned. Youth, on the other hand, has always been characterized by a certain measure of righteous anger, as idealism starts engaging an adult world that is so flawed and crazy. Some of us are pastors, and we’re angry at the people in our congregations. Some of us have been hurt by the church, and one of the key emotions we’re dealing with is anger. We’re angry about the state of politics or the culture wars, or we’re involved in politics and the culture wars, and we’re angry at those on the other side. We’re angry at our families. We’re angry at the people with whom we work. We yell obscenities at other drivers during our daily commute because we’re angry at everything else, and they are safe and easy targets.

Dan’s piece cut me to the quick. He graciously gave permission to reproduce it here so that we can talk about it.

• • •

So You Are Angry?
By Dan Bouchelle

Posted on May 8, 2012, at Confessions of a Former Preacher, Dan’s blog

“Your recent blogs have just seemed more peaceful,” said my friend at the Pepperdine Lectures last week. Just a clue. Subtle, but I got it. It reminded me of other recent comments that let me know the anger I have pent up over the years is dissipating. That would be good news if I could just accept it was ever really there at all.

My wife says most of my negative emotions come out as anger. For men, anger may be the only negative emotion we can express without feeling we need to turn in our man-card. Still, I don’t want to be an angry person. Worse still, I don’t know why I’m angry and I don’t think about being angry. But, my wife also tells me, I am not good at knowing what I’m feeling. I know what I “should” feel. That is what I convince myself I do feel . . . most of the time. But then this anger keeps seeping up out of my cellar. I see signs of it in my over-reactions, my cynicism, and my “prophetic edge.”

Last week, I heard a preacher in his early 30’s describe his generation as “free of the cynicism of the boomer generation toward the church.” I heard several preachers from his generation speak, and I have to agree. They have more hope for the church than my generation and I don’t think it’s just youthful idealism. It is not about their different vision or inability to see current realities. It is about emotion. Perhaps this is why preachers my age are dropping out and the best preaching jobs in our fellowship are going to guys in their late 20’s and early 30’s. We are too cynical.

I also asked my friend Grady King, who is becoming the expert on ministerial drop outs in our fellowship, how often he deals with anger among preachers. He tells me it is pervasive. They are angry at traditionalism. They are angry at elders who expect them to have the knowledge, skills, and educations of other professionals but make them answer to “amateurs.” They are angry at fundamentalist perspectives on scripture which hurt people and limit the ability of the gospel to be heard outside our Christian ghettos. Sometimes they are mad at real people who have criticized them or demanded what they could not deliver. They are angry at our model of church governance and our limited role in it. They are angry about a lot of things. They’ve tried to change things only to find churches remarkably change resistant. They are tired, cynical, and angry.

I can identify somewhat with all these matters to a degree. Yet, with a few outstanding exceptions most from early in my ministry, I have felt loved, well-treated, and respected. I led significant change in the churches where I served, mostly with the support of the eldership. So why am I angry? I can’t give reasons to justify my emotional state. Yet it is there. It is fading, but it is there. I hate it, avoid it, and deny it, but, like my shadow, it follows me around with varying degrees of intensity. Shine a bright light on me and you can’t miss it.

While I don’t fully understand my anger, here is my current best shot at explaining it. I am angry because I couldn’t force the church to live up to my image of what it should be even when they implemented most of the changes I wanted. I am angry because I thought I had a contract with God: if I did ministry the right way, he would make me feel successful and fulfilled. I am angry because I could not shake the feeling of failure when I was doing everything I knew to do and I could not get the church to post the measurables I needed to validate my ministry. I am angry because the church I was building was too much a figment of my imagination detached from sustainable reality. I loved the people in my church and I enjoyed ministry with them. But, as a congregation—which is an abstraction in many ways—I could not reconcile what was with what should be. I am angry because other preachers who used what I thought were inferior approaches to serve inferior visions saw their churches grow while mine was plateaued or declining. I am angry because I could not solve the problem of church, as if churches are problems to be solved instead of people to be loved and developed. I am angry because I looked to my ministry for self-validation instead of modeling self-denial. I am angry because I wasn’t willing to obey what I heard God calling me to do and trust the outcomes to him instead of expecting something specific in return.

No wonder I have wanted to deny my anger. It is ugly. But there it is. Why say it out loud? Why reveal this online? Am I now an exhibitionist? Am I trying to get attention in some sick way? Perhaps. I hope not. I just think it needs to be said. I think those of us who have gotten seduced into being career minded, if only in part, even when we wouldn’t admit it to God or ourselves, need to repent and fess up. I think we need to stop blaming the church for our immature emotional issues. The church does not need to face enemies within when it has a huge challenge without. I also want to warn other preachers to avoid a path that can lead to their undoing. Watch your expectations. We are called to a cross, not a crown. We are called to serve the Lord through the church. The church isn’t here to take care of our emotional needs.

So you are angry? Well, you might want to do something about that. That road goes to a bad place.

Comments

  1. I think we need to battle that angry person within ourselves. To place others ahead of our prideful expectations.

    It’s not easy and we can’t always win those battles. But I do believe we owe it to those a round us to not be angry.

  2. Where do I start. I am angry….I’ve had anger difficulties that errupted when faith backfired from me and I was left picking up the pieces of my life. Here’s what angers me…

    I’m angry that I was duped.
    I’m angry that it happned after I drank the Mormon kool-aide
    I’m angry that I took John Piper hook, line and sinker.
    I’m angry at the reform/neo reform crowd for the hamr they cause.
    I’m angry that I see Christians defending Mark Driscoll and John Piper. Why?!?
    I’m angry over the culture wars
    I’m angry for all the extravengava you seeon TV. Yes that means you Benny Hinn.
    I’m angry at Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
    I’m angry that much of what I was taught didn’t work.
    I’m angry that many authorterian churches are crushing people and a number of Christians don’t care.
    I’m angry that I nodd my head in agreement in times to what I read on agnositc blogs. And I’m angry that I do that!
    I’m angry over the idolatry of marriage, kids, and family. Becuase it tells me as a singel I don’t belong as I wont fit.
    I’m angry faith and religion has been so harmful in my life.
    I’m angry that my faith fell apart.
    I’m angry that I am 38 and at a point in my life I never would have imagined.
    I’m angry that I can’t be like I once was, and suck it up and put on a plastic face and pretend all is well…Yes God is in control.
    I’m angry for Christian’s Men’s Porgrams. And for accountability programs… (BARF!!)
    I’m angry for cheesey Christian music.
    I’m angry that I wasted so much time in some unhealthy environments.

    Yes I can relate….I am angry, angry and ANGRY!! 🙁

    • What a testimony to His love and grace that He came to save us from our sins in such a way that has not, even yet, made your list!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Cut the Christianese, StevenT.

        Eagle’s already heard far too much of it in a destructive way, and you’re just going to sound like more of the same — just reciting The Party Line.

    • With all kindness, Eagle get over it. You are only hurting yourself and those who you are angry with don’t care.

      • sarahmorgan says:

        There is no kindness in the phrase “Get over it.”

        • Oh yes there is. It means deal with it. Ask whatever powers you believe in for help. I meant that in kindness.

      • No getting over it… now getting through it by naming the harm done, feeling the anger, expressing the hurt… then maybe, just maybe, it wont be as raw & painful in the future. We are pulling for you Eagle!

    • Donna G says:

      Eagle, I used to be consumed with anger. It nearly destroyed my life for a time and came close to destroying it forever. But Vern is so right. The anger that did so much harm to me made no difference at all to the people I was angry at. And it was another way I was allowing them to still control me. So I took back the power and invested all that energy where it did me good. When you wipe their dust from your feet you can really move on.

      • THIS. A thousand times over. In the late 90s and early 2000s, I was in a similar place. For about 5 years I was angry at the church and at God, but mostly at the church. My expectations were not fulfilled. I felt like I had tried to do everything I could to fit in and was still ignored or not taken seriously.

        But I had to come to several realizations: 1) as Donna said, the people who hurt me had moved on with their lives, so why didn’t I have the right to move on with mine? 2) And if I let them even rob me of my faith in God, then that says more about my inability to let go of my old hurts then anything else they might have done. 3) Many of the people who hurt me had their own issues and limitations to deal with. Some of it was simple spiritual immaturity but sometimes the issues were more complex. And finally 4) I had to come to terms with my own role in what happened. I had to look at the way I allowed my “church issues” to take over my life, to become obsessed with it. I had to look at how my desires for strong Christian fellowship, though understandable, were often unrealistic and asking of people more than they could give.

        Was I treated harshly by some? Yes. I was treated unkindly, both verbally and in writing, by people I had otherwise respected, for simply expressing some of my basic spiritual and social needs. I was told that I didn’t care about anybody other than myself, that I was selfish in asking for assistance from others when I needed it, that I was not spirituallly mature for not keeping quiet and going along with the program when it was obvious that the program was not really helping anybody. Eventually I was able to move past it, with counseling and with a new church and new friends who accepted me where I was at. And it was a long struggle to get there. And my new church has not been perfect either. I have grappled with many issues there as well. But the benefits have in many ways outweighed the negatives.

        I hope I have not come across without grace here, because I do understand what it feels like to be the only person in a room of “shiny, happy people” who doesn’t “get it.” But I feel it is important to speak up because I don’t want others to spend years in the wilderness when they could move past their pain. Dwelling on the pain doesn’t help you and doesn’t hurt those who hurt you.

    • It’s good to get angry at sin and evil, but most of the time our anger is a reaction to the Law.

      In the main post, the pastor is angry because he can’t meet the Law’s demands. When he writes this: “I am angry because I thought I had a contract with God: if I did ministry the right way, he would make me feel successful and fulfilled.” he is stating what the law is. If we live the right way, we will he happy and fulfilled! That is true.

      But impossible, and so we develop a self-righteous anger with others or God for making things too hard for us. Or we blame ourselves despair at the impossibility of it. Everybody does this. But what do you do about it?

      You can dwell on the anger or despair until you die, but that’s a pathetic life. For the fallen man, this is a necessary step to appreciating God’s grace and learning to focus our anger at sin and the devil, instead of at others or God. The more you appreciate that this is a fallen world, and especially that oneself is dead in sin, the more one can appreciate God’s grace and accept the things one cannot change.

  3. When The Man said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” He didn’t say “…more than yourself.” His assumption was that we were to love ourselves. To me, that means *all* of myself, and that definitely includes the not-so-shiny parts.

    I used to believe (in large part because of my Christian upbringing) that anger was something to be fought and conquered, but as the years went by, I found that approach didn’t work at all. It was a very wise minister to whom I finally complained bitterly about how my nights were often broken by insomnia filled with rage and self-hatred. She (yeah, sorry, evangelicals, it was a she) said that when those thoughts came, I should welcome and embrace them, not try to fight hate with hate and rage with rage. She said these thoughts were to be welcomed because they were trying to tell me something important about myself. The thoughts were not demons; they were gifts that God was trying to give me.

    It was really a breakthrough. Of course I still get angry and I still have the occasional meltdown, but my life is no longer ruled by rage. When it comes, sometimes I can catch it and say, “OK, what am I trying to tell myself here? Or what is God trying to tell me?”

    I hope no one takes this the wrong way. I’m *not* saying “If you’re angry, something’s wrong with you and you need to fix yourself.” There are so many things that really merit our anger — cruelty, brutality, bigotry — and they come our way every day. I’m just saying that for me, rage controlled my life until I understood what important things it was trying to tell me. Now I have the choice to *use* my rage to change some of the bad things that come along. I hope I don’t sound all pious, or all new-agey here. I’m just saying I couldn’t live with myself very well, and now I feel comfortable in my own skin, and on good days I can even love my neighbors. 🙂

    • Joseph (the original) says:

      amen.

    • Bravo H.Lee, Amen & Thank-You.

      I was a hot head. I had so much anger when I was younger, even had demons cast out of me (ugh didn’t work) Anger felt like a fingerprint pressed inside of my soul impossible to erase. I failed over & over to control my tongue, the fruits of the spirit didn’t over ride my rage as much as I longed & prayed to be a gentle woman.

      The closest thing I can figure is that when you watch your mother get beat up & know your turn is coming it marks you.
      I know one thing for sure, for myself only, and that is: I used anger as a form of of self protection to block the unbearable pain in my heart, it was how I survived and I suppose it became a habit… Did I do that consciously as a little gal in a home of abuse & rage? No, of course not. Anger helped me survive, it has taken years of practice of slowing down listening to the hurt, sorrow or disappointment under my anger… Learning that it is OK to say I am hurting rather than screw you.
      As my anger gathers up force
      mind & tongue
      set on a collision course…
      What am I to do with all that
      goes on inside?
      How do I handle this anger
      and my wounded pride?
      Is there any help for my
      humanity at the Cross?
      When will I learn to sit in
      silence and process loss?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I was a hot head. I had so much anger when I was younger, even had demons cast out of me (ugh didn’t work)

        Gail, I am convinced that 99% of Spiritual Warfare Demon-Deliverers are role-playing a game without knowing it, and have no idea whatsoever of what they’re doing. Plus, when all you have is a Demon-Deliverance hammer, everything is going to look like a Demonic nail. Everything. Even that burned-out lightbulb.

        These Super-Exorcists are just marking time casting out DEEEEMONS from My Little Pony, Cabbage Patch Dolls, houses, city-limits signs, and everyone who comes along until one day they might encounter a REAL one. Then it’s going to be Seven Sons of Sceva time.

        • amen hug! ( :

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            The reason is that these Spiritual Warfare Demonfighters resemble the Occult Fanboys you occasionally run into in various F&SF fandoms; we call them “Masters of Mighty Magick” and the ones I’ve run into were seriously delusional. Usually an extremely-inflated opinion of themselves and their Mighty Occult Knowledge. Never did run into any with REAL occult powers, though.

            You do find Wiccans and offbeat beliefs in various fandoms, but these guys go way above-and-beyond. One of my gamer contacts claimed the following exchange when one of these Alister Crowley Wanna-bes (who never seem to have jobs) tried to hit him up for money. Again:

            My Informant: “If you’re such a Master of Mighty Magick , why don’t you just CONJURE yourself fifty bucks?”

            MoMM (very haughty): “I’m a Sorcerer, NOT an Alchemist.”

            Looking at this, I wonder if Spiritual Warrior is just the Normal-Is-Not-Enough Christianese expression of Occult Fanboy behavior.

  4. I don’t know where you live but I live at YRR ground zero and the YOUNG guys coming out of seminary here are very ANGRY and arrogant. In fact, it is the middle aged preachers who are trying desperately to tone them down. So most of the YRR guys are church planting because they have it right and everyone else has done it wrong and they want elder rule instead of congregational polity to make sure it stays right.

    However, with that said, I am a bit put off with all this “feelings and emotions” stuff. It must be generational. I prefer thoughts and ideas.

    • Generational AND gender-ational. I’m an old woman. I understand that testosterone changes the look of things. 🙂

      On the other hand, I do believe that in many cases, “logical thought” is the scaffolding we — men and women alike — put over our biggest decisions, which are actually based on “feelings and emotion stuff.” I don’t expect much agreement from the guys here, but I’ll give two quick examples from the political world: (1) Why in the world did Mr. Bush turn aside from the hunt for Osama, to pursue as totally unrelated (and disastrous) course in Iraq? Probable answer: His dad had decided not to attack Saddam, so Mr. Bush decided he needed to prove himself by going his dad one better. (2) Why would a hard-right neo-con like Dick Cheney be a supporter of gay marriage? He derives no logical benefit whatever from that stance. BUT. His daughter is a lesbian, and when the rubber hit the road, “feelings and emotions” triumphed. IMNSHO, good for him.)

      But the real role of feelings versus logic has been mucked up by the insistence that “logic” is masculine and honorable, while “feelings” are feminine and kind of wimpy, so no real man would want to identify with them. It’s a whole ‘nother argument.

      • “On the other hand, I do believe that in many cases, “logical thought” is the scaffolding we — men and women alike — put over our biggest decisions, which are actually based on “feelings and emotion stuff.”

        I don’t disagree with this H. Lee. Not at all. The most cold calculating Nazi was acting on emotion. It is when we make “feelings” the focus as if they are seperate from our thoughts. Thinking is where feelings come from. Therefore, we need to focus on our thought processes. (Easier said than done)

        Perhaps one problem is that we tend to read the “heart’ verses as feeling verses. When in fact, in the 1st Century they believed that thinking and decision making came from the “heart”. They tend to read different when we know that. It was not until about 100 years after Paul that Galen discovered the brain controlled body functions and that thinking started to change.

        As to Bush and Cheney, not going to touch that one with a 10 ft pole. I suppose we could have kept up the oil for food program that was so successful for Saddam. (wink) I am not so sure I buy into the belief that going into Iraq meant we gave up on finding bin Laden.

    • When I graduated seminary some 20 years ago, it was not very much different, we wanted our churches to be different from the churches we saw around us, and saw that the churches around us were not willing to change. So many tried church planting. Most very unsuccessfully.

      • David L says:

        I have to think they were really looking for a different type of person to populate these new church plants and found out the hard way that these different people dint really exist. And never realized this was the issue.

  5. David Cornwell says:

    Sometimes I wake up the morning, a perfectly pleasant day with sunshine, the birds singing, and no bad news, and yet find myself angry. I don’t have a good word for he new day, just some angry thoughts. If I say anything, it probably won’t be good, and in the saying it will will multiply itself in a cancerous way and infect the day.

    Why does this happen? I really do not know, maybe part of the male psyche. But it really does not have to be. If, when I wake up, I pray a simple and plain prayer from the Psalms 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer,” then the day can become something else. Letting the prayer linger before speaking, or even getting out of bed, and something changes. For I believe that in this simple prayer there is power. It changes the moment, and in so doing can change the day.

    And this is not some how-to formula from the bible. It’s just a prayer. And if you have the presence of mind, and that prayer does not seem to help, then read Psalm 19 in it’s entirety. For verse 14 seems to me to be the Amen to the rest of it.

    • Thank you.

      • Joseph (the original) says:

        due to the BS of life (its negative elements that are impersonal, unpredictable & uncontrolable) i had a long simmering anger in response to certain events. i felt helpless, dismissed, ignored, abused. it would manifest itself in rage when i felt cornered, trapped, incapable of avoiding or handling the next negative life issue. it affected my dreams where i would violently attempt to confront the people/things that symbologically represented the issues i was wrestling with…

        it was part of my woundedness. it was a bruising at the core of my being that became a very tender spot easily hit when things would not go my way. i have felt taken advantage of for so long the fuse was short & the feelings volatile. mixed in there is a fear factor; fear of having to deal with overwhelming situations where i was powerless to prevent or work thru positively…

        as i began to understand better this issue, i started to address it thru prayer. i prayed first against the vague sense of fear. and then i prayed about my anger & sense of being overwhelmed. i began to deliberately say this out loud” “life is good.” i would say this several times a day whether i felt that way or not. i still do this now. not as much, but it happens spontaneously. i would say, “thank you Jesus” out loud too. just as a reminder i was not in this broken existence alone & powerless.

        i am less frustrated & angry as i approach each day. the challenges of life not so daunting. the sense of being overwhelmed fading. i have dealt with much of my past dysfunctional issues & still working thru the residual junk that remains. i have experienced an amazing degree of freedom. i laugh more. i am relaxed more. i even made a deliberate choice to not beep at the crazy drivers i encountered during the Holiday Season. so yes, great strides have been made…

        thank you Jesus. life is indeed good… 🙂

  6. Matt, I prefer thoughts and ideas too, but that doesn’t mean that feelings and emotions don’t exist. If we try to pretend they don’t, we are forced to not have any insight into ourselves, and that’s a roadway to disaster.

    Misplaced anger is, among other things, a relationship killer. I think a lot of times angry people are so caught up in their emotion that they don’t realize they are broadcasting it to everyone around them. Then those people may feel that they are being punished for something they didn’t do and can’t help. My husband used to get angry when he was driving, at the way other people handled their cars. When it got to the point that he was actually screaming curses, I had to scream back at him: “*They* can’t hear you! *I* can hear you!” It was a habit he had fallen into and I had to help him fall back out of it. I think that, and some of the examples written about here, actually stem from an inappropriate desire to control other people and a sense of being entitled to judge and critique and disapprove of the way other people, sometimes strangers, go about their business.

    So I think you have to put your analytical thinking ability to work sometimes, to ask yourself what you’re really angry about, and is it anger or something else like fear of losing control, and if you’re expressing it in a way that might be hurting others.

    • “Matt, I prefer thoughts and ideas too, but that doesn’t mean that feelings and emotions don’t exist. If we try to pretend they don’t, we are forced to not have any insight into ourselves, and that’s a roadway to disaster.”

      Not sure what I said that made you think I would not agree. I suppose blog comments cannot cover every single nuance of an issue. I absolutely believe our emotions should send us back to our thought processes. It begins there.

      I also believe that “righteous” (not self righteous) anger is good. We should be angry over injustice and lies. How we respond to that is another topic for another day. But not all anger is bad.

      • You said that you were put off by the feelings and emotions stuff. I am put off by it too. In fact, I get “angry” at church when I think my emotions are being appealed to over my reason. Seriously, it ticks me off. ISTM, and maybe you are different, that we thinkers-over-feelers sometimes have to make a deliberate effort to think about our feelings and the feelings of others and weight them heavily enough.

        Wasn’t really arguing with you.

  7. Marshall says:

    Maybe we’ve just been trained into thinking anger and violence is manly and fun and just “The Way Things Are.” The illustrations from Angry Birds is a swell example. Walter Wink’s piece on “The Myth of Redemptive Violence” is worth a read in this context.

  8. I’m 76 yrs. young and I’m not angry anymore. I’m on the green side of the grass,can go to the church of my choice, my family acts like they love me, I don’t miss any meals, and Jesus has and will wash away my sins. So what is there to be angry about? And no, I am not a Panglossian.

  9. Bravo Dan! It takes some kind of guts to own up and name… I appreciate how candid you are… Though I have had different disappointments & expectations of our Lord, & a whole different story than you have, I admire your willingness to say what you said here! The messy reality of my spiritual journey is that I tried with all that I had to get a divorce from my humanity, to stop my anger…. especially at God…but that was fruitless, till He brought me full circle… Great post!

  10. “They are angry at fundamentalist perspectives on scripture which hurt people and limit the ability of the gospel to be heard outside our Christian ghettos.”

    Yeah, that’ll do it for me. I don’t want to play the culture-war game but they’re forcing me into it. I can at least understand part of their zeal, however; they’re playing the part of Defender of the Faith and want to protect God’s honor from others, whether the others are Christians or non-believers. But they’re sucking the joy out of the Christian faith, for themselves and, what’s worse, for others.

    Trying very hard not to play the anger game with them.

    • Note: the “they” that I meant is not the same “they” that Dan Bouchelle meant. You get the idea.

    • Radagast says:

      I got tired of being angry over issues too big for me to change (one reason I don’t listen to talk radio anymore). I am now more of an observer watching culture change and just shaking my head. My anger is usually with relationships closer to my heart. Even issues with work don’t anger me anymore – but you get me going on the younger generation… man, I’m turning into my father…….

  11. Anger is often a response to hurt (as is shown in several of the above posts). Sometimes just knowing where the anger comes from helps the anger dissipate and enables me to forgive and to heal.

  12. “We are called to a cross, not a crown. We are called to serve the Lord through the church. The church isn’t here to take care of our emotional needs.”

    It really matters who’s saying this kind of thing to me. For example, I’ve heard this kind of talk from a District Superintendent. I was in her office, bemoaning the fact that when my life was threatened by a church member, no one in my congregation had my back. They left me to deal with it on my own. The DS, of course, wanted no part of it either. Neither she nor the Bishop ever darkened the doorstep of the church while it was happening. I was told to “talk to the police” or “get a good lawyer.” All I wanted was someone to listen to me, to be my advocate. And not that it’s crucial, but I merely note: DS’s make over $100,000 in my Conference. I’ve been a pastor now for nearly 17 years and I have no idea how I’m going to pay for my kids to go to college.

    It matters who’s telling me to “suck it up.”

  13. I once knew a pastor who would often get angry. She was angry about all of the people at church who were not committed. She was angry about people not carrying their cross. She was angry because she felt that the church was being forced to compromise its values in the face of an evolving culture and those (again) uncommitted people.

    This pastor used anger and guilt to manipulate us. Your unwillingness to listen to her was always taken as an unwillingness to humble yourself or take correction.

    What did I do?

    I was a staff member and had served in the church for fifteen years.

    Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I got angry and left. It was the second best decision in my life. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to get angry. Sometimes, when you’ve suffered through manipulation, guilting and abuse, you need to get angry. You need to get angry enough to walk away.

    Then when you leave, you need to drop your anger like a hot coal. It served it’s purpose. It is now time to live.

  14. humanslug says:

    Maybe, at the most basic level, we’re all angry because we’re not God and therefore subject to forces beyond our control. I suspect this lies at the heart of all human angst and discontent.

    • Tell me about it, humanslug. As Master Yoda is wont to say, “Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

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