April 14, 2010

What Pushes Your Anger Button?

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9 Comments
  1. Hi, I am 18 and not in high school anymore but I am from Massachusetts, and when you mentioned those two schools from MA, out of curiosity I checked the local high school to see if they were doing it. (By local I mean 5 minutes away from my house)

    I found on the website….

    “On Friday, April 16th, the Gay-Straight Alliance would like to invite students to show their support for the LGBT community and participate in the Day of Silence. Remaining silent for the entire school day is symbolic for those who cannot openly express their sexual orientation or identity for fear of being discriminated against.

    Please show your support by signing up during all four lunches on April 14th and 15th or in (censored the teachers name) room. Participants should wear a black shirt and go to the cafeteria on Friday before the morning bells to receive a badge as proof of participation. ”

    Wow, I was shocked when I first read this. I have friends at that school I am going to ask them about more details, but “wow” is what I said when I found out because I don’t remember any advertisements for this day, maybe there were but it never caught my attention. Oh well, just thought I’d share!

    God bless!

  2. Hey Dr. Brown,
    Thanks for taking my call about anger today. Just as way of background, I am a Moody grad and current student at Southeastern Baptist, so I enjoy a lot of the topics you interact with. My perspective on anger is best seen in a book by my friend Bob and CCEF counseling material…
    http://www.amazon.com/Uprooting-Anger-Biblical-Common-Problem/dp/1596380055
    http://www.ccef.org
    Thanks again, maybe I will call in when another “hot topic” peaks my interest : )
    Mike (from Raleigh)

  3. Before I got saved, over two years ago I was a very angry and hateful person.When I got saved God replaced the anger with love.I had a lot of anger since I was Young.I was fourteen when I stated doing drugs.I was forty five when I got saved and the lord delivered me from drugs and my anger.Plus alot more.God is the answer to our problems.My anger cost me relationships with family and people who loved me.It could have cost me my live.Thank God for his mercy and forgiveness.

  4. If I was a student at a school where students were organizing a day of silence in order to promote their gay agenda which further corrupts a society, school, or whatever it touches, I think I would tend to be somewhat angry.

    Isn’t that a bit like saying, “Let’s organize an event where students could show support for the evil fruit that was in the midst of the garden of Eden. Maybe they could wear shirts that have fruit on them and we could hand them out buttons to wear that says something like ‘I like to call what is evil, good.’ We could talk about how it’s all about our identity, about being the same as the fruit we support, becoming exactly like the kind of fruit, even like the tree itself that once knew good but turned to enjoy evil.” ?

    I think I would want to say to them, “PLease have mercy! PLease
    don’t think that you do not affect others in evil ways. Please understand that God knows what is good and right, that God understands how we are to function as human beings, that God knows how to heal what has become ruined through sin, that God has made a way to get back to him, that if a man still have the gift of repentance that he can be redeemed, that though a man has sinned against God and suffered the consequences of his judgment, that God loves everyone and his angels rejoice in his presence when a sinner repents, that God does not close his ears to the rejoicing, and that God can be moved by the sound of heaven.”

  5. Collection calls are known for being delivered in a certain “tone.” I once had a bill I was paying on, and the person I’d interacted with and worked out the payment arrangement with was very understanding and very nice, and she said anytime I was going to have difficulty in a certain month, call her and let her know and she’d work with me, maybe accept partial payment or even suspend the need for payment for that month. There did come a month when I could see no other alternative but to call her and work out a reduced payment for two months. Again, she was pleasant and professional. Well, a few months down the road, another person in the company called me and told me that she no longer worked there and so the agreement she’d worked out with me was invalid; essentially pushing my “balance due” back up to previous levels. This was very upsetting to me. I had an agreement in good faith; how they could just out of the blue tear it up and declare it invalid? I tried explaining to the person who’d called that the agreement we had was legal and binding, and it wasn’t fair business practice for them to just decide to revoke it. The man with whom I was talking was extremely rude, making several disparaging remarks. Because I didn’t agree to the “new terms,” he yelled into the phone that he was going to write that I refused to pay. This was really upsetting to me, as I was nowhere in the attitude of refusing to pay what was owed. I decided to take the matter to the Better Business Bureau and I filed a complaint with them. In the report, I detailed my experience, including the angry tone and the uncalled-for personal remarks. The BBB processed the claim; the next time I dealt with the company, they had another representative; he was polite, and we worked something out. I was never ‘unwilling to pay’ and that suggestion really touched a nerve. I just wanted them to honor the agreement we had. The new person apologized for the behavior of the other company rep, saying to the effect, “I don’t know what goes on with some of my colleagues in this industry; they think they can talk anyway they want to people.” I would say this is actually typical of the collection industry…unfortunately, many are rude and seem to be taking out their frustrations when they call. I know they have a tough job, but being rude just doesn’t help; when people are already hurting financially, they don’t need a judgemental tone. There are a lot of reasons why debt happens; it doesn’t necessarily mean someone is irresponsibile. In any case, it’s not their job to jump to conclusions and presume dereliction of duty. Nor does it inspire cooperative feelings!

    What I really wanted to express, though, is that what usually has pushed my anger button is destruction of the earth; whether it be plants or animals, or habitats. The attitude that other creatures don’t matter, just us humans, can really get to me. I chose to stop participating in politics because as much as I wanted to help stop environmental destruction, the politics around it always seemed to be confrontational, and I’d get caught up with it. I decided that the best option was to support the better alternative, by, for example, buying organically-grown vegetables, rather than fuming at the large companies whose agribusiness practices I don’t agree with.

    I love the Lord, and I love creation. We need to share this planet with the other creatures God made. The way this issue has been framed in the past by even religious leaders has been appalling, in my view. It’s not a choice between jobs and owls, as one of the past presidents put it in his campaign speeches. People have to calmly work together to come up with solutions; painting people who care for nature as somehow outside the pale is just unfair. We are to be good stewards of the earth and that is one of our Christian duties. I hope the “politics” around these issues can be set aside and people can have an attitude of willingness to work together and find common ground. I haven’t really seen that yet; I have seen a lot of stereotyping of each other. I pray that will be peacefully resolved. For me, it meant stepping out of politics and, as I wrote, finding positive ways to support what I believe in.

  6. When God tells us to let justice rain down and to stand up for the rights of the poor

    Amos 5:24 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water, and rigteousness like a mighty stream.”; and Proverbs 31:9 “Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

    this is an activity; I understand this to mean that we are not to passively allow whatever would roll over us; if we see something that requires us to open our mouths, to plead the cause, it appears we are charged to do so.

    We have models of how this happened in the past, but I think the nonviolent resistance which Gandhi employed and the Civil Rights Era also adopted to good effect is a better and more effective approach than violent upheavals. I do know that only a minority desire those; most people really want things to flow along smoothly and continuously; that’s necessary for family life. I do think we have to sit face to face and talk with each other a lot more and treat each other as we’d like to be treated, and listen, especially listen to each other.

    I think that applies to any entity with whom we have an issue of injustice. What I’ve seen in the past is a lot of standing up to one another and not enough hearing each other, and that’s for both sides. Confrontational-style politics I know from experience does not contribute to dialogue or common-ground finding and workable solutions. Holding up posters with Scriptures while yelling at gays or at anyone, even corporations — does this ever work? We kind of glorify the American Revolution, and time after time, people with causes to fight will call upon the imagery of that era, because we tend to see it as having been a cause worth fighting and dying for. But we’re in this century. And the only thing that works today is respectfully engaging each other in discussion and being willing to find common ground.

    While we’re charged to have and show the love of Christ, I understand that this doesn’t mean avoidance of unpleasant issues nor does it mean finding tough issues too tough to work through. Even on issues for which we find no compromise possible, I believe we can stand strong and not lose our love. The temptation may be there, in response to name-calling, to get indignant and want to return like for like, but this is dangerous ground and can lead to falling into sin. Maybe we have to remove ourselves temporarily from the scene, but certainly pray hard at that moment of temptation.

    I’m not sure how this applies to corporations who commit crimes; how do you love a corporation? Yes, it’s composed of people, but they are not individually to be held responsible. I think abolishing corporate personhood is a step in the right direction, because when corporations had limited charters, these could be revoked for malfeasance.

    Can we stand for justice in a loving way? Can we listen to another point of view and be willing to change our minds if that needs to happen? Can we subject our opinions to a critical review? We have to be at least willing to understand the “other side.”

    I think that’s the only way there can be effective social discourse today.

  7. JJ, that’s always rankled me too. Why is it acceptable on television for a character to say “Jesus Christ” in a tone of cursing? If we used another religion’s deities in that way, the network would be hearing about it from groups incensed at the lack of cultural sensitivity.

  8. I like those two vereses Ruth Smith shared. It’s the sound we need. It’s from the Church’s equipment room.

    How many of us have been to a new church and were met by someone who said something like, “Good morning. My name is ______. I’m an elder here at ______. You might see me doing a lot of things like leading worship, prayer, making announcements,
    organizing events, or teaching Sunday school, but those things are not my job. My job is to plead the cause of the oppressed, do no wrong, shed no innocent blood, loosen the bonds of iniquity,
    undo the heavy burdens, break every yoke of oppression…etc.
    by the gospel of Christ, so if you have any matter against any, and have gone to that one first, but have not been able to resolve it…willing to forgive, repent of your sins as they become known, willing to look for something good on every page of scripture, say what it is, (for we need light to go into dark valleys)
    I am willing to hear your case, though not willing to hear evil for the sake of evil, but only those things that are the cause of a present distress…not showing partiality, etc…” ?

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