Introducing the Anger Grid!

Warning: The following is my personal opinion, and I think you would be hard pressed to find it in the Bible. So accept these thoughts accordingly.

It is my theory that most of the time (for most reasonable people), if a person is experiencing anger about a certain problem, it’s because they suspect (or fear) the problem is at least partially their own fault. If something negative happens to a person and that person is fairly confident that it’s not a result of something foolish or sinful they did, then they may experience sadness, or want some kind of justice, but they don’t experience anger.

So here’s a grid that I whipped up using my extensive computer graphics ability.

Fault and Emotions

Is the grid clear enough?

The key to the grid is, we only get angry if we detect both ourselves and another party is responsible. If we think it’s only our fault, then we just experience shame. But if we have another person we can blame, that’s when we get angry. And this means that anger is a sign we are latching on to our hope that another person is to blame. If the other person hadn’t done it, then the bad thing wouldn’t have happened and we wouldn’t have had to feel bad about this. Do your best to scrutinize and be suspicious of this way of thinking.

Here’s the application: The next time you’re angry – check to see if you feel some culpability for the problem. And if there is – deal with your own sin or lack of wisdom before you deal with others. And this is especially true if the “others” are your kids.

Does that make sense? Does it fit your reality? As you look back at the last time you were angry, does it seem likely that you were fearing that the problem was at least partially your fault?

Next: What I think dads are fearing about themselves when they are angry.

Click here to see the list of posts in this series.