I have often been an angry Mom, and I’ve read a million self-help books to help me restrain my tongue, my voice and to hopefully detach myself from anger. I do well (for a while), but before I know what has happened, an angry explosion sneaks up on me and I yell at my children. So, when I received the opportunity to review Good & Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining and Bitterness, I had high hopes that it could finally be the magic bullet that would help end anger in my life.
Instead, I found the assertion that my anger was not in and of itself a problem. The problem came in when I had selfish anger (instead of righteous anger), and when I expressed even my righteous anger in sinful ways. Instead, as we are made in the image of God, and God expresses righteous anger in the Bible, we are to see our anger as a gift from God and as something that we can use in defense of God’s kingdom.
That, of course, even applied to my anger at my children’s disobedience. Of course, I should be angered by their disrespect and rebellion. God is angered at those very things too! Powlison is also careful to remind us that this kind of anger is very different from the kind of anger we have because our five year old can’t find her shoes (again!). That kind of anger is the anger of selfishness, where we make ourselves the God of our own lives. Anything we want too much becomes and idol to us and we we are not godly when we pursue the acquisition of that or express anger when we are thwarted.
This book examines the motives of anger, gives strategies for dealing with anger and deals with tricky situations of unforgiveness, anger at self and anger at God. I found many gems as I went through this book, and I find that I’m going to want to spend some time reading more deeply through it again because the book is so practical and my problem with anger is so pervasive that I spent two days fuming over the chapter of the book that explains whether or not I have a problem with anger. I also needed the realization of how closely connected God’s wrath is to his love, to the ten commandments and his mercy. I think reading this book helped me to understand God’s nature a little better, and that’s worth a deep reading and pondering for me.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.