What is anger? Where does it come from? And how can we handle it in a healthy way? There is much confusion on the issue. In fact, we live in an angry society. From road rage to workplace incidents to marital bickering, out-of-control anger is all around us. How can we handle our anger—and help those we love with theirs? How can we teach our children to deal with their anger? And what about those long-simmering feelings of anger toward people in our past? What’s the difference between “bad” anger and “good”? Bestselling author and relationship expert Dr Gary Chapman offers helpful—and sometimes surprising—insights on why we get angry, what we can do about it, and how we can use anger for good. The 214-page book, which contains 13 chapters, highlights that anger is a universal human experience. For many of us, it is the single greatest challenge in every area of our lives. We have been taught that anger itself is a sin and should be avoided at all costs. However, anger is also understood to be ‘nature’s way’ of preparing man to respond in times of danger. How should we deal with this volatile emotion? The writer gives us the perfect tool to answer this and many other questions in this book, which takes a fresh look at the origin and purpose of anger. Asserting that anger is rooted in the holy nature of God, the book reverently explains that anger flows from God’s holiness and love. The writer draws on his extensive counselling experience to instruct us how to positively process our anger.
In one chapter, the writer defines “implosive” anger thus, “Implosive anger is internalised anger that is never expressed”, and is sparked by fear of confrontation, belief that feeling or expressing anger is wrong. This can result in physiological and psychological stress, passive-aggressive behaviour, can lead to resentment, bitterness and even hatred and violence. In another chapter, the book underlines that the good news is that couples can learn to handle anger responsibly. In fact, they must learn if they are to survive. Anger is not sinful; rather it is evidence that we have a concern for fairness and justice. Thus, we do not need to condemn ourselves or each other for experiencing anger, nor do we need to deny that we are angry. When we give each other the right to feel anger, we are giving each other the right to be human. This is the starting place in learning to process anger positively. Further the book emphasises that perhaps the area that makes us the most angry at ourselves is when we violate our own strongly-held values. Anger at ourselves over our much own moral or ethical failure is often accompanied by feelings of guilt. Anger and guilt should lead repentance and refreshing forgiveness. However, sometimes we wallow in our guilt and turn our anger inward. Helpful study questions for group or personal use conclude each chapter. If you or someone you love is struggling with anger, this book will help you gain a fresh perspective on anger. It is hoped that as you gain this new perspective, you will be equipped to understand and deal with your anger or that of someone close to you. This will also help you create and further cultivate healthy relationships.
By Ashok Kumar