Anger and stress are probably the two key terms to describe the world today. Every act of violence is a result of one of these two things. From school shootings, to drug addictions, to
violent protests to the depressed locked up in mental institutions; anger and stress are prominent players in the lives of most people. Christians are not immune.
Although violence, drugs and depression are easy to see in the secular world, the effects on believers are just as serious. A Christian may not literally kill someone in anger, but remember Jesus’ words, “I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:22). A Christian may not end up in the mental ward, but how often does he retreat into his own world and become cold and distant, or simply suppressing his anger and brooding in self-righteousness?
Dr. Wayne Mack has written a very helpful manual about how to handle anger and stress in a way that is more Christ-like. He points out that in most cases, ones reaction to stress, and thus the accompanying anger, is a result of “not getting what one thinks he needs.” It’s a matter of how one thinks! This book is about restructuring how to think about situations.
In the first few chapters, he addresses what seems to be a confusing issue for some people: the difference between good anger and bad anger. In other words, there is a right time and a wrong time to be angry. He follows those chapters with some very penetrating questions about how to determine if your anger is the good kind or the bad kind.
Chapters 5 and 6 are about identifying the stressors of life and the consequences of ungodly reactions to them. Many of the stressors of life can be either ones own limitations or other people. Typical responses to those stressors may include debilitating fear, depression, envy, impatience or a litany of other emotions. These types of responses result in poor relationships, lack of spiritual growth, spiritual uselessness and even physical problems.
Finally, the last couple of chapters are about the way of escape: a solidly biblical answer to handling anger and stress in a way that honors God.
Dr. Mack’s book includes study questions throughout to help the believer probe deep into his heart and battle the idols that reside there. It is another testimony to the fact that the Bible alone truly is the sufficient source to meet all of our needs. You can get a copy of Dr. Mack’s book, here!