Eight Forces of Anger

1. First, there is the idea of intention. If we think someone is intentionally doing something wrong or unfair, it stirs the anger cauldron. In our example, the husband assumed the wife somehow deliberately planned to go over the limit on the credit card. It was no accident.

2. Second, there is the sense of someone doing something wrong, or violating some sacred law or rule. In this case, the husband had concluded his wife and blown the budget, and maxed out the card. In his mind, that was downright horribly wrong.

3. Third, we burn to retaliate. We hear the words often, “I’m going to get even with them.” We want to punish and penalize in order to prod the erring one into right behavior, as we view “right.” Our angry husband was going to go buy himself a new computer to get even with his wayward wife.

However, The Apostle Paul asserts, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

4. Fourth, labeling spews forth. This is swearing or cursing the other person. In our example, the husband called his wife an “idiot,” when in real life it probably was much worse. As explained in my detailed ebook on anger management, the basic dynamic at work is this. If we can dehumanize the other person and make them inferior to us, then their pain is not as important as ours. It gives the husband the superior stance, because she is just an “idiot,” which means that his judgment is much greater than hers. It justifies lashing out at her.

5. Fifth, mind reading clouds the picture. This is jumping to conclusions about the motives and thought of the other person. It is deadly to assume we know why other people do what they do. Actually, the wife may have had a good reason to buy the new dress. Perhaps she was going on a job interview so she could earn enough money to pay down the credit card.

6. Sixth, angry people magnify the problem. We can hear it in the word, “It’s awful, horrible, terrible, and I cannot stand it.” Not many things in life are horrible. Probably the most horrible is dying and not going to heaven to be with Christ. But a dress? Come on! It might be foolish and irresponsible, but it is not even close to what our guy, Jeff, said, “That is horribly wrong.”

7. Seventh, “should” thoughts fan angry emotion into a hot flame. When we demand that people “should” do this or that, it is always from our own personal list of rules or value system. The problem is that we all have different sets of personal “rights and wrongs.” When we dump our expectations onto other people, and they don’t accept them, then we make ourselves angry.

8. Eight, the foundation of anger is entitlement. Somehow we humans are wired to believe that we are entitled to be treated kindly, gently, fairly, lovingly, honestly, and wisely in our dealing with life. When we are jolted with the fact that life in this very troubled and wayward world is not always kind, gentle, fair, loving, honest, and fair, then we agitate ourselves to anger. When we insist on a perfect world, then we insist on the impossible.

The Bible teaching about being angry teaches that it is an honest, real, and basic emotion, but that can and must be managed. Knowing the dynamics is the starting place. But, there are many more tools available that are explained in my ebook. Our friend would do well to cool it, forget the computer, and repair the damage he did to his wife. Paul was right, “Be angry, and yet do not sin.” 

by Dr Newman 

the complete text is available here: