Is Anger a Choice?
As we set on the precipice of a beautiful celebration of Christ-mas, I’m continually reminded all is not well in the world. While I’ve noticed an unusual amount on “good will toward man” this season, there is still a great amount of anger bubbling under the surface. Whether in Rome, GA, Ferguson, MO, or all the way over in Europe, the Middle East, India or China, we see and read about the actions of angry people everywhere.
If I’m honest with myself, I struggle with anger. I get angry when someone in front of me doesn’t know how to drive, or when things just simply don’t happen in the time frame I expect it should.
Do we really have a choice in how we respond to our environment and those individuals around us? Absolutely! While being angry is not an overall bad thing, it really boils down to what we choose to do with the anger, when we realize it’s there. If we hold on to it and feed on it like sharks in a feeding frenzy, it begins to fester in our lives and becomes infected. This is not good. It not only impacts us, but those around us.
While reading Andy Andrews, “Island of Saints,” I was reminded of these choices we make every day of our lives. I’ve heard this statement before, but Andy reminded me that, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and waiting for those around us to die.” While this is a very morbid analogy, it is so true.
If one understands anger as typically a result of pain, whether it’s emotional or physical, we are allowed a better understanding of how our choices matter. How we choose to, or not to, work through pain, ultimately rests on us. Do we allow the baby born in a manger an opportunity to heal our pain, or will we choose to allow it to fester in our lives and ultimately “kill” all relationships around us. The choice after all, is ours.