The news media seems to highlight “anger” in a complimentary manner, with a welcomed smile and with words like, “There’s a lot of anger out there!” or ” People don’t like the way the country is going and they are angry about it!” “People are angry and they’re taking action!” The picture below is the crux of this article:
How Does Getting Angry Solve a Problem?
In finding an answer to the question above , the writer looked at a couple definitions of anger. Webster says “anger is a feeling that results from mistreatment, injury or opposition. It usually shows itself in a desire to hit-out at something or someone.”
Wikipedia describes anger as “is an intense emotional response . . . that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation.”
Both definitions indicate anger is a feeling that someone experiences which creates a mental disturbance toward something or someone. OK . . . you have this feeling . . . what do you do with it? What kind of a reaction does it generate? Is the reaction positive or negative? Does it involve a logical, well-thought out solution or does it generate a reaction based on illogical conclusions drawn from a disturbed mind? Is anger spiritual or material? Human or divine? Right or wrong? Good or evil? These are questions this article seeks to answer.
Psychological View of Anger
Let’s take a look at anger from a psychological perspective. Ph. D . Steven Stosny says:
“Anger is the primary protective emotion, designed to protect us from harm or from loss of something of value. The most physical of all emotions, anger sends action signals to the muscles and organs of the body to prepare us for one purpose and one purpose only: to neutralize or defeat the perceived threat.” He suggests further that two factors go into forming anger: current vulnerability and magnitude of the perceived threat.
Vulnerability leaves a person feeling “open to attack,” somewhat helpless in defending himself. It gives one a sense of hopelessness, the inability to correct a situation or powerless to ward off forces coming toward him. Low vulnerability is perceived as less of a threat that high vulnerability. A person experiencing high vulnerability usually reacts with problem anger.
The Australian Psychological Society weighs in on anger this way:
“Anger is a normal human emotion and when it is managed properly it is not a problem. Everyone gets angry, and mild anger can sometimes be useful to express strong feelings and deal with situations. However, if anger is expressed in harmful ways, or persists over a long period of time, then it can lead to problems in relationships . . . and can affect the overall quality of your life.”
The key to this anger perspective is the word “perceived.” Perception is the motivating factor, and in many cases one’s perception is based on false premises, acquired through negative life experiences, lack of information and emotional instability, thereby, making a logical decision difficult to obtain.
Does Anger Prevent Rational Decision-Making?
Human rationality or logic is based on one’s ability to produce or receive advantage, pleasure or happiness. It is usually self-motivated, with little or no regard for another’s welfare. Therefore, what is rational to one may not be rational to another. This type of reasoning changes with personal experiences, emotions and cultural backgrounds. However, rationality with a spiritual foundation, is based on divine, unchangeable laws that are universal in meaning and demonstration. Such rationality has reasoning power based on Truth, Life and Love. Its motive is pure and its outcome peaceful.
Anger is an emotional, human reaction caused by displeasure with something or someone, with no semblance of divine truth, life or love. The biblical reference to “the anger of the Lord,” is and was humanly derived–a false sense of mortal man’s understanding of God as “humanly circumscribed.”
God has no human or mortal attributes. He is Love and only knows love. Thus, rationality based on anger separates itself by its very nature, from logic with a spiritual foundation. It can never render a decision with sound logic! Therefore, to hold “anger” as an emotion that will yield positive results, is without substance or validity.
Anger is never good, right or spiritual. It begins with lower levels of thought which do not ascend to higher levels. To reach higher levels of thought, man must remove anger from thought, dissolve it with love, and erase it with truth. Problems are solved by lifting
thought above anger, uncovering the errors that suggest its reality and casting them out of thought! The greatest example of this, are the lessons taught by the Great Exemplar, Jesus Christ. He laid the foundation for spirituality, mapped out the way and left guideposts to get there. It is up to us to acquire the tenacity and courage to demonstrate it. The man of God’s creation is neither mortal nor material, neither emotional nor physical, but a spiritual consciousness filled with goodness and mercy–a spiritual idea, made in the “image and likeness of God.”
Glorifying anger as something of value, is the wrong message sent to mankind. When we hear it expressed in such a manner, let us mentally denounce such a practice and replace it with purity, grace and truth–a truth that frees us from fear, self-righteousness and self-justification.
Is anger an emotion of praise or disapproval? We answer with the following verse:
“Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.
He hath also established them for ever and ever:” Psalms 148: 5-6.