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The Hope Podcast Host: Jim Leary Technical Director: Scott Leary Episode #31: That One About Anger Episode #31 of The Hope Podcast is an episode that Scott and Jim do together. This episode is a discussion on anger and also includes an interaction with the new book by David Powlison entitled Good and Angry. Here is a brief snapshot of the book. Powlison divides it into four sections with several chapters within each section: Section 1: Our Experience Section 2: What is anger? Section 3: How to change? Section 4: Tackling the hard cases. There are two observations he made in section one that I especially relate to. “When a little thing pushes your buttons, it says something about the buttons inside you.”’ “Every one of us has a hard time changing. It’s hard to think straight about anger.” What pushes your buttons? When someone pushes our buttons, Powlison observes, bad anger poisons everything. In the second section, What is Anger?, Powlison defines good and bad anger. These quotes reveal his ability to handle this important topic in a way that helps others process their anger. “At its core anger is very simple. It expresses, 'I’m against that.' It is an active stance you take to oppose something that you assess as both important and wrong.” “Anger goes wrong when you get godlike. Your desires become divine law. Poke your way into every example of bad anger, and you’ll find god-playing. Whether I’m really ticked off, just a little irritated, or deeply embittered, it’s all about almighty me. Anger is demanding and entitled: This is what I want. My will be done. It’s superior: The world and all that is in it are subject to me. All persons, objects, and events are subject to my opinion and evaluation. It’s accusatory: you have violated my will, and you deserve punishment.” Powlison’s observations perfectly describes the struggle that many people have. We get angry, and often rightly so because something bad has happened. He goes on to define good anger. Good anger is God’s anger. God is justly angry at evil. He is angered by the injustice endured by His children. And, he observes the following: "When God’s larger purposes are in control, the poisonous evil of anger is neutralized. Anger becomes a servant of goodness.” In Chapter 7 he begins to define good anger. He says that anger’s essential DNA is displeasure at wrong. Then he defines good anger: “The constructive displeasure of mercy.” And good anger is what we must learn. “Like simple anger, it says, 'That matters. It’s wrong and offensive. I want to do something about it.' But unlike just getting mad, it says, 'that’s wrong - and I will be constructively merciful while pursing what is just, whatever makes things right, whatever does good.'" He then outlines for characteristics of good anger Patience: In it for the long haul Forgiveness: The willingness to not get even Charity: You treat with purposeful kindness someone who treated you or others badly. Constructive conflict: the displeasure of mercy enters forcefully into conflict in order to redeem. David outlines a series of eight different questions to process your anger in Chapter 13. He also fleshes out Psalm 23 within one of the questions and I began to sob as I read his application of Psalm 23. Another of my favorite chapters is chapter 14, titled "I’ll Never Get Over It.” This chapter alone is worth the price of the book. Simply put, Powlison observes that there are some experiences we will never get over. "The experience will always be there, but you do not need to be forever defined by what happened. You won’t forget, but you do not need to endlessly visit what happened. You do not need to be imprisoned in your reactions." He goes on. "By definition, to transmute a very deep furnace of pain and anger into something fruitful is hard. It is refreshing to admit, 'Tha

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