Where Do Anger Issues Come From?

Monday, February 07, 2011
Since Pastor Jared taught yesterday this won't be the normal Monday teaching recap. I thought I'd take a few moments over a couple of days to talk about a problem that can put a stranglehold on our lives - anger issues.

If you are a person who struggles with anger or if you love someone who does, I want to offer you a tool to help understand and deal with that anger.

Today, we'll talk about the sources of anger. And tomorrow, I'll talk about what to do to combat your anger once you've rooted out its source.

Here's an acronym to help you understand where anger comes from: GIFT. I got this from Mike Prasse, a very gifted counselor here in Charlotte.

Now, anger is anything but a gift to its victims! But it is helpful to know that virtually all anger problems find their root in one of four places. See if you see yourself in any of these scenarios (I am using first person, but I am not talking about myself in particular, by the way!)

There's something in my past or present that I feel guilty about. But I don't know how to deal with that guilt or it is just too painful to think about. But my feelings have to go somewhere and one common place they go is to angry outbursts.

When I was growing up my dad made me feel like I could never measure up, and I have spent my life trying to prove him wrong. Or I had a huge failure at a point in my life and I feel like I have to make up for it somehow. I feel fat, or ugly, or not very smart. And I don't want to think about all of that. So I am angry. I can't get angry at myself, so I have to take it out somewhere.

I'm scared. I was alone a lot as a kid. I was abused. I never felt like I could be me, because if I were me others would run and hide or laugh at me. Life has never felt safe. I never know paycheck to paycheck if we are going to make it, if I can provide, if my spouse is going to lash out, if my kid is going to go nuts. And this makes me really, really mad.

Something really bad happened to me. Something I can't tell you about. Something I can't even hardly tell myself about. When I think about it I get...well, I don't know what I get. I get scared. And lonely. And, really, really angry. Why did God let this happen? What's the matter with Him?

If you struggle with anger, or know someone who does, take a long and hard look at that list. More likely than not, the source of your anger is there somewhere. This identification is the first step towards healing. Tomorrow, I will write about what to do to keep the healing going.

Love you guys.

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