We know that God is good. The Bible tells us that He is also a God who has indignation or anger every day (Psalm 7:11). God’s anger is a righteous anger expressed over injustices and sin. In his book, Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining and Bitterness, Dr. David Powlison teaches us about God’s anger and how we can rightly handle the anger we experience.
Powlison begins by introducing us to angry people. People like you and me. He brings to our attention six common traits of bad anger:
-Passiveness-may show itself with depression, lethargy and pessimism
Anger does not “happen” to you. You do anger. It is something you do with all your heart, soul, mind, and body.
The author challenges us by examining four aspects of responding to anger:
Patience-being slow to anger, willing to work with wrong over time.
Forgiveness-Lets go of the offense.
Charity-Loves those who have hurt us.
Constructive Conflict-problem solving with the goal of being a peacemaker.
Finally, Powlison teaches us through chapters 3 and 4 of the Book of James. From these chapters and other scriptures, he walks us through eight questions to ask ourselves in regard to our anger:
- What is my situation?
- How do I react?
- What are my motives?
- What are the consequences?
- What is true?
- How do I turn to God for help?
- How could I respond constructively in this situation?
- What are the consequences of faith and obedience?
He concludes with leading us through working out the anger we experience within daily life, anger at ourselves and anger at God.
This book is not one to just be read and placed back on the bookshelf. David Powlison has written an excellent book of application for those who are serious about changing the way they deal with anger.