I’ve worked with Bert Ghezzi on a number of books over the years. He’s a professional editor, writer and speaker. He’s today’s guest blogger, explaining why there is a new, revised and updated edition of his book The Angry Christian.
Bert is going to be another one of the guest bloggers here from time to time. I encourage you to check this blob post and his book. Check it out at Amazon here.
Bringing Back The Angry Christian
Standing on My Head Guest Blogger – Bert Ghezzi
I recently brought back a revised and updated version of The Angry Christian, a book I published more than a quarter-century ago. I decided to bring it back because it addresses the very high level of anger in our society. We are all very, very angry. And my concern for the many angry people I bump into prompted me to reissue the book. I’m confident that it can help you confront your anger and deal with it effectively.
Time magazine says anger is out of control in America. It generates hostility in families, in churches, in politics, on the Internet, on social media—everywhere. As a personal response to this rage, The Angry Christian encourages all to apply a biblical way to lowering the anger level in our lives and raising the level of peacefulness. Paul summed up the Christian approach when he exhorted the Ephesians to “Be angry, but do not sin.”
The book offers practical advice for the flare-up of anger that we all experience. If you’re like me you’ve handled your anger badly and see it as a problem. For example, here’s my worst-case scenario. I once flew into a rage when my wife decided not to bring her id to the airport one week after 9/11. In a state of shock, I shouted, “You didn’t think you needed to bring your id when they’re screening for terrorists!” I jumped up-and-down, danced around, and upbraided her–much to the delight and FEAR of people nearby. If anyone had posted a cell phone video, it would have gone viral immediately.
Over the years I’ve had to learn how to deal with ALL my anger. By taking the advice of friends, by reflecting on my angry behavior, and by embracing the teaching of Scripture, I’m now controlling it and using it well. And in The Angry Christian, I share what I’ve learned.
The Angry Christian dispels three myths about anger that keep us from handling it. And in the course of dismissing the myths, the book presents a Bible-based strategy for disciplining our anger.
Myth #1: The book dismisses the notion that anger is always a problem. Rather anger is a gift, a normal part of our human equipment. And it demonstrates how to control and use anger well.
Myth #2: The book corrects the false belief that anger is always sinful. It shows that anger is righteous if you direct it toward something good and keep it under control. And it’s sinful if you direct it against something good, or if you allow it to get out of control or to control you
Myth #3: The Angry Christian dispels the idea that anger cannot change by teaching you how to replace bad anger reactions with good reactions.
The Angry Christian shows how to channel anger into good behaviors like patience, mercy, and self-control. And how to engage the Holy Spirit as the agent who makes the channeling work. As blogger and author Fr. Dwight Longenecker says, “When the energy of anger is directed properly, God’s power to heal and transform ourselves and our world is unleashed.”
By applying The Angry Christian’s strategy, you can contribute to lowering the pitch of anger in your world. Archbishop Charles Chaput says, “Anger is the mental virus of our age. Unless it’s curbed, the habitual taste for conflict can break apart communities and families, and eat away every trace of our inner peace.”
By caring for and discipling our anger we can contribute—one person at a time—to lowering the anger level in our society. Don’t underestimate the power of one. God has made starting small a spiritual principle that soon magnifies into something big.
So, The Angry Christian dismisses myths about anger, shows how to channel angry reactions into good behaviors, and helps you contribute to lowering the anger level in your world. And it presents a biblical strategy for controlling anger and using it well.