As the father to three children, I often get angry. I get angry at dumb things, and I get angry at really important things. I get angry at some of the right things, and sometimes I get angry at the wrong things. In fact, I often have to deal with the anger of my kids. Anger they have towards me, or towards their siblings, or toward themselves.
My kids often get angry at each other over perfectly normal things. If my 4 year old steals something from my 6 year old, then the 6 year old has been wronged and becomes angry. This scenario plays out a few dozen times each day (mostly because my 4 year old knows that it will incite anger out of my 6 year old.) What I’ve tried to help my kids learn is that sometimes it’s alright to be angry about something, but it’s never alright to act out of anger. So it’s alright for my 4 year old to feel angry that his sister broke his favorite color of crayon, but it’s not alright for him to crack her across the face with the nearest object. So I have to correct the behavior of my 4 year old and affirm that it is alright to be angry about what his sister did, but it’s never alright to hit someone (or speak to someone) out of that same anger.
It sound so simple, doesn’t it? Then how come as a 33-year old adult, I can’t always apply the same lessons? I want to be angry about somethings, and not be so angry about others. I’ve challenged myself to not be so apathetic about the wrongs and injustices in the world, and to fight for what is right. I want to have anger for those things, and have my anger spurn me towards acts of love and righteousness. I don’t want to let the only actions that come from my anger be ill or discouraging words to those around me.
Help me to learn to separate being angry from acting angry, and help me to be angry about those things that deserve my anger