MONDAY MEDITATION: Anger Danger (February 19)

Be angry without sinning. Don’t let the sun set on your anger. — Ephesians 4:26

I highly recommend the daily wisdom of Father Richard Rohr; you can sign up for these meditations HERE.

I was particularly struck by what he wrote recently regarding anger:

We need the wisdom of a “full prophet,” one who can love and yet criticize, one who can speak their words of correction out of an experience of gratitude, not anger. We have to pray to God to teach us that. I don’t know how else we learn it. We can’t learn it in our minds rationally. God has to soothe our angry hearts and spirits. God has to allow us to come to a place of freedom, a place of peace, and a place of fullness before we can speak as a prophet.

It is so easy to want to see the wrongs/sins of the “other side” and get ticked. (Of course, the “other side” is thinking and feeling the same way about us.) Such expression of emotion does no one any good.

How wonderful it would be to speak “words of correction out of an experience of gratitude, not anger.” That’s certainly a lifetime’s work.

How would we go about moving towards this?

Whenever we feel that anger arising from what we witness, is it a call for self-reflection? Where is it coming from? Why am I letting it control me? How can I use it to better understand what I believe is right/wrong?

And whenever we feel that anger rising, is it a call for empathy and understanding? Why does that person say/do such things? What is their background, their upbringing? What are they afraid of, as well as hopeful for? What do we share in common?

Maybe these are ways we can pray to God for a change of heart.

Jesus certainly got angry; just ask the Pharisees. But the beauty of Jesus’ anger was that it was centered on a pure understanding of God’s heart and will; his ego didn’t get in the way. Plus, everyone knew of Jesus’ unconditional love; perhaps they sensed his anger was on their behalf, helping them see the Father better.

This is why we call Jesus “Lord.” He shows us the way, even though it’s long and difficult.

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