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One Source Of Anger

By Don Loftis | 06.15.11

A few years ago in a Fort Worth suburb, a goat escaped from a pen and made its way to the local high school. The security camera captured this goat repeatedly butting its head into the glass doors. It seems the goat saw its own reflection in the glass and was motivated to attack. Its aggression became so forceful that it finally shattered the door.

Why do we get angry at the behaviors of certain people? Often that anger comes from our own sin and our own struggles in life. We often detest in others what we already detest in our own lives. As the comic strip said, “We have met the enemy, and they are us.”

In the Genesis account, Jacob was furious with the dishonest and deceptive treatment that he received from his father-in-law, Laban. Yet, we recall that Jacob has taken refuge in Laban’s country, because he cheated his brother (Esau) and lied to his own father (Isaac). The anger we experience at the immorality of our culture (or even our children) may arise more from our own personal guilt at similar behaviors than it comes from righteous indignation.

The forgiveness that God offers us through Christ can bring peace and calm into our lives. Guilt is replaced with gratitude, and the judgmental spirit can finally stop. At some point, we have to forgive ourselves and move on. The ability to see ourselves through the lens of grace will set us free from anger — anger toward ourselves as well as others.


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