I was teaching my Sunday School kids about anger the other day, and in preparation for the lesson, I learned that anger is not always bad. Of course I knew that, but not in the way the message was being drummed in from the resource. "How is that?" I hear you ask...? Well, we are conditioned by society to deem the expression of anger as socially unacceptable. We are taught to control our anger from a very young age. We are cast out if we fail to adhere to said societal rules by openly expressing anger in public. It is drummed in by health professionals and the industry at large that anger is something to be curtailed because failure to do so could result in grave (for want of a better word) consequences.
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So why am I standing here preaching to empty pews in the congregation? It seems we have been taught all wrong, in my view. Yes, anger expressed wrongly could have dire results, but that's because it's outgoing through improper channels. You see, our social conditioning has resulted in the bottling-in of an honest emotion, and as a result, when expressed, it seems somewhat out of our control. But, we CAN indeed control it. What am I faffing about? Well, what do you dislike? And I don't mean frivolous dislikes like a man who cannot dress himself well, or someone chewing aloud. I am referring to a social, moral or cultural bug-bear that grates you to the very core. I suppose the dislike need not be that intense, but I want to challenge you so indulge me for a second. Whether that's subconscious bias expressed in the workplace by covert racists, or homophobic slurs casually branded 'banter' which inhibits productivity of gay staff yet to come-out. Whatever it may be, expressing anger towards injustice is valid. Agreed.
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That is not the only permitted case where one can express said anger though. Anger can be used to challenge the norm and spur change. So you may notice that bae never informs you when his/her work trip is extended and you find yourself struggling.
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I could preach from the rooftops about the benefits of anger, and being sure to express it towards the right things, people, causes, etc in order to effect change, but that is not the full picture. There is some truth in the societal message that anger, improperly expressed could have dire consequences. An example of that is in Orlando where a there was a mass killing. This is not me condoning a particular practice, or condemning the expression of one's moral beliefs, rather it is me challenging the individual to have expressed their anger in a productive and positive way.
As a Christian, the basis on which I form my world view, make decisions, and carry out practices is from the life of Jesus. One recorded account appears in the Bible where Jesus expressed his anger; righteous anger in the temple. Without needing to regurgitate the message taught to my students in Sunday School, the general/ moral message is what I summarised in the first 3 paragraphs. Other individuals make decisions, etc based on their own beliefs, so i cannot judge them on how they conduct themselves. However, what I fail to see is the benefit of vicious and violent acts of dislike. Yes, we are all entitled to our own views, but the imposition of this on others is what I fail to understand. We are challenged, as Christians, to go out into the world and live as advocates of The Word. Expressions of hate rather than anger serve no purpose other than to deter the masses from your faith. Why would anyone want to burgeon such feelings on a daily basis? Surely they would rather emulate the practices of one who is peaceful, accommodating of other views, but lives in a sanctified way. This is why - although one of my oldest friends is Muslim - I can see a clear disconnect between extremism and faithful believers.
I fail to see the value in hate; but see the benefit of anger carefully expressed.