Anger. And Truth.

1. Do you think there is an important distinction between anger and the way one expresses anger?

I tend to think so. I think anger the emotion is like any other emotion — having no moral content in itself, as valid as any other feeling, just as permissible. Even when the anger is irrational, or out of proportion, it’s still just a feeling — it’s possible to recognize its irrationality or disproportion and still acknowledge the fact of the feeling.

How one expresses anger is different, though. I don’t think it’s generally okay to hit or kick or bite or yell at people, for example. And I think one should be careful about banging and slamming and stomping, too, making sure that nothing important is broken or hurt. It does seem that anger needs some sort of forceful physical outlet, but it still needs to be a safe and appropriate one: chop wood, punch a pillow, go running, throw darts (at a dartboard, of course), etc.

It’s not pleasant when someone is angry at you, whether their anger is rational or proportional or not.

But it’s more manageable when the someone can still speak with respect, and can delay the physical expression until a safe time and place. There have been times when I’ve been so angry I can’t speak with a pleasant tone of voice, but I CAN tell the other person that I’m speaking to communicate, not to attack, even though my voice sounds nasty.

What do you think?

2. The children’s lesson in church today was about the armor of God metaphor in Ephesians. One item is the belt of truth. It has never occurred to me to associate it with TELLING the truth — for me it’s usually connoted KNOWING the truth.

Not that I think telling the truth is unimportant. Just that what we need to stay strong in faith is not so much keeping our behavior up to a certain standard, but in knowing the Gospel and being open to it speaking to all parts of our life.

What do you think?

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