Richard Dreyfus’ psychiatrist character in the movie, “What About Bob?” laughs and says, “I don’t get angry,” apparently believing “well-adjusted people don’t succumb to anger.”
What a load of horse manure. Anyone who makes the decision to never get angry will one day implode from all the pent-up emotions. I know because I watched it happen to someone I loved very deeply.
I watched a precious lady in my family be emotionally abused for decades, and eventually her mind snapped and she never fought her way back to sanity. How could she not get mad as her husband yelled at her and called her “stupid” in front of her grandchildren? How could it not anger her to spend an hour preparing a meal, only to have her husband throw the food on the floor and call it, “slop, not fit for a pig?”
I used to think it was honorable to remain silent, but now I wish Grandma would’ve fought back. I wish she would’ve gotten angry, just once, and told Grandpa, “Don’t you ever treat me like that again! Decent people don’t do that!”
But she didn’t, and had to wait for death to ever find any semblance of rest and peace.
The trick is to channel your feelings into righteous anger. This means we’re still mad, but we use it to effect change. We don’t let it consume us and we don’t let it alter the way we treat people.
Here is a powerful bit of poetry I wrote a few years ago in an attempt to channel my rage into righteous anger:
By Rob Weddle
“Some believers lie and cheat and claim to know our Lord
Some believers charm the crowds for things they can’t afford
Some believers prance about as if they’re on a stage
Some are known as pacifists but others of us RAGE!
We rage against the spirit of the father of all liars
We rage against the Devil who would damn us in hellfire
We rage against the villains who would take our sons and daughters
We rage against the one who seeks to throw us to the slaughter
We rage against hypocrisy from counterfeit believers
We rage against the Anti-Christ and all of his deceivers
We rage against the demon LUST who lurks on every station
We rage against the ACLU as they steal our nation
We rage against the fantasy machines of Hollywood
We rage against the ones who tell our children they’re no good
We rage against the agents and their plastic, painted stars
We rage against the tabloid press who honor the bizarre
We rage against dark music when it sways a teen to grief
We rage against the lyrics mocking all our core beliefs
We rage against the ones who dare invert our Savior’s cross
We rage against the imps who turn rock bands to demigods
We rage against the Devil when he says our days are numbered
We rage against the spirits who have torn our minds asunder
We rage against that time of night when fear begins to churn
We rage against the flaming crypt where fallen Christians burn
We rage against the loneliness which blankets us at dusk
We rage against the evil ones who murder simple trust
We rage against the ridiculers of our precious Lord
We rage against the blasphemy of Hell’s demonic horde
We rage against the crippling stress which dissipates the mind
We rage against indifference and all other ties that bind
We rage against addictions and their whispers late at night
We rage against our apathy and stand ready to fight!
We rage against the media who paints us all as clowns
We rage against the fiends who claim the lost cannot be found
We rage against the mockers who would thieve our greatest joy
We rage against the beast who seeks to rob, kill and destroy
We rage against the Devil, Lucifer our great betrayer! We rage against all enemies of Jesus Christ our Savior!”
In closing, here are some interesting biblical notes about the most effective way to handle anger (notice the first verse does not say, “Don’t be angry”):
“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
“Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:26-27, 29, 31-32).”