Welcome back to my mini series. Last week, I discussed Pride. If you haven’t read it yet, you should jump over there and take a look at it. If you want to take a look at all post for this series, you can start with the Introduction.
This week, I plan on looking at anger. Now, I’ve talked about anger before on this blog. But today, I’m going to try to look at it from a different perspective.
What is Anger?
a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
synonyms: rage, vexation, exasperation, displeasure, crossness, irritation, irritability, indignation, pique; More
antonyms: pleasure, good humor
So what’s wrong with anger? Well, nothing by itself. Actually, angry is a very normal emotion. The catch is the passion of anger that we’re usually caught up with. That is when we usually go from being angry to doing something in anger.
For example, someone can cut you off in line, and yup, that would make me angry too, but it’s how we choose to redress an evil then it becomes a sin. Why? you wonder…well, if we don’t work through our angry and seriously calm ourselves, then our angry can and will lead us towards hatred, resentment, and the desire for revenge.
The Sins of Anger
The sins of anger are the following: hatred, revenge, impatience, denial of the truth to others and self, self-righteousness, and desiring to harm others. To be quite honest, anger is the root of acts of violence. We’ll let that sink in for a bit.
Most of us are pretty cool with handling our anger issues. Many of us know that is if someone crosses us, we know not to stalk them in the parking lot. For if we do, and in that moment of passion, our actions could become reprehensible — hence the crime of passion law.
- A crime of passion, or crime passionnel, in popular usage, refers to a violent crime, especially murder, in which the perpetrator commits the act against someone because of sudden strong impulse such as sudden rage rather than as a premeditated crime. (source)
That’s why they have it on the books, and to me, it’s acting and going to a point of no return.
But Why Impatience, and Denial of the Truth to others and Self
I wouldn’t have actually contributed impatience with anger, but I can see how someone could be harmed with that tendency. To be impatience you could rush someone along, being rude or discourteous to one another. It’s just about physical acts of violence that matter. It’s the acts of violence that we do with our thoughts and minds.
On another note, think of how many friendships were destroyed when people were told that their spouse was seen with someone, and it was the good friend that shared that information. Not gossip, but shared it. In our anger, we could also lash out at the wrong people.
I think the lesson that I’m learning here is that no one is expecting anyone to be a doormat, however, if there is a time for correction, then the person should be corrected. Without malice, and without the intent to show our own superiority. The correction should be made and we should be done with it.
Now, how the other person perceives our correction, and their reaction to it, (assuming that it was made without judgment or ego), would depend on their pride. Remember it’s not only what we say, but how we say it.
How to Combat Anger
1. Prayer. Prayer is a winning force in these vices. I seriously do not believe that anything can be done without prayer.
2. Assume ignorance of the person. This is going to be harder for a lot of us to swallow, but it reminds me of the last moments during Christ’s crucifixion when he said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” A lot of people are like that though. We live in our own worlds, that we fail to remember that our actions has an effect on other people. Other times, other people have really no clue. At this point it’s not only knowing the words of Christ, but living them as well.
3. “But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Lk 6:27). This is hard to do. It’s easy for us to say it, but living these words change the very fiber of you. How hard will it be for us to rise up against our own impulses, our own anger, and pride to turn the other cheek. To forgive the person who did wrong, and not hold it against them? But imagine how much hurt we can let go if we really did this?
4. Step away and cool off. You know you’re angry. It’s time you remove yourself from company and cool off. Get a level head and come back to it when things are calmer for you. By making any decisions while angry, you will be callous, and impatient, and (let’s just be honest about this) not nice at all.
Virtue to Overcome Anger
Anger’s opposite virtue is meekness.
When Christ met people who wanted to torture him and kill him, he prayed for them. How often are you angry over the small things in your life? What can you do to help yourself with this in the future?