Causes of Anger – Part 3
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 29:11 “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
When we think of the causes for anger several things come to mind that we need to consider. First and foremost that man is born with an angry streak, a.k.a. the “Adamic nature of man.” I have two grandsons that are very enjoyable to be with, but every now and then I see this anger streak being manifested. We need to take into consideration that anger is a part of every man.
However, we also need to understand that anger is brought about by teaching as well, in that we learn to be angry. We see this with dogs. Take a dog that has a very agreeable disposition and start treating the dog in a bad way and we see that good disposition turning. We can turn a docile dog into a mad dog through a learning process.
One psychologist said: “Although anger and hostility are normal – we differ greatly, both individually and as groups, in degree and frequency of the hostile feeling we experience.” These differences in a large part stem from one’s learning or past experiences.
If we look internationally we see how violence is used in disputes, against disagreement. On the television and movies we see how anger is so often used to settle arguments, etc.
Here in the USA, part of the great debate that we have at the moment in our culture is whether or not violence on television and in the movies has anything to do with the violence in our homes, schools and communities. The answer is YES. We are being programmed to think that anger and violence is the way to settle disputes.
However, another cause for anger that we need to recognize is that this emotion often comes in response to frustration. In this definition, frustration can be defined by: any obstacle that hinders our progress towards a goal.
I get ready to go somewhere and when I get into the car I find that my tire is flat. I get frustrated and then angry because I am being impeded from reaching my goal. I am writing a report and I get a phone call that interrupts me from reaching my goal and I find myself becoming frustrated and angry. I am doing something when my wife interrupts me with another task to do and again I find myself upset and angry. Why? Because my goal has been interrupted.
In this we see three things about anger. First, this is the Adamic nature of man. We see this coming out with Cain when he rises up and kills his brother Abel. We read that he was angry, his human nature. Secondly, Cain learned anger through his encounter with God. God had told him what to do, but he refused to do it. Disobedience to God spurs anger in man. Obedience to God creates peace and joy in man. Thirdly, we see that Cain was frustrated to the point of anger and instead of obeying God in his sacrifice, he took his anger out on his brother. God had said to Cain that if he did right, making the proper sacrifice, God would accept him.
Cain could’ve prevented his own frustration and anger by simple obedience. As we look out at all the frustration and violence today we can see why it is there, and rapidly growing.