I only get mad when it’s justifiable and I have been personally assaulted. Never because I’m flawed or selfish or placing unrealistic expectations on people. So that’s good.
Except I’m totally lying right now.
I have a temper.
I have a smart mouth.
I blame other people for my anger, for my hurt, for my issues.
Wish I was lying about that part too, but I’m not.
I was reading in Exodus recently about how God had to prepare Moses to meet him on the mountain after Moses had broken the original ten commandments in anger. Righteous anger. He came down the mountain after communing with God to a group of people that had completely turned their back on God. The God who had rescued them from slavery in Egypt, the God who had fed them every morning from the sky. Moses ended up being gone longer than they thought was acceptable and so they turned back to their wicked ways and that pissed Moses off.
I always have a right to be angry. I can immediately find someone else to blame for my anger.
Well, if he hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have said what I said.
If she hadn’t have made me come here, that wouldn’t have happened and I wouldn’t be in this situation.
That guy cut me off in all this traffic after I let those three other cars get in front of me!
And that immediate reaction has been on my mind a lot recently. Which means it’s probably been on God’s heart a lot too since that’s how it seems to work with me. I’m comfortable and happy so I don’t desire much change on my own, but I know He is constantly working on me whether I want it or not. There’s some comfort in that, but other times, truthfully, it’s annoying because growing pains suck.
If I stub my toe on the way into my daughters’ room to get a toy or to put away clothes, my mind immediately goes to blame one of them for asking me to get something for them or to my husband for not putting away these clothes earlier (it is his job, after all). The second the initial pain and shock is over, I’m looking for someone or something to blame for that happening.
I realize how sick and twisted that is.
I realize how unhealthy that is.
I also realize this is a learned behavior that I could tell you lots of stories about. But I’m an adult now and I make my own choices and more than anything I’m wanting it to stop with me so my daughters don’t play this blame game later. This reaction to everything that places blame on others instead of accepting that sometimes things just happen and it is no one’s fault.
Or more importantly, sometimes it is my fault.
I know that there is righteous anger, I know that Jesus had every right to turn the merchant tables over at the Temple when he realized what people were doing in his Father’s house. I know that it was just and pure.
I also know that the majority of the time, my anger is not just and pure. It’s selfish. It shows more about how I feel about myself and my insecurities than about anything else. It is almost always self-serving. When I throw a fit, I’m telling people how my insides look. And it’s not pretty.
The good news is God can change us. I have been hyper-aware of my anger and fits since having children (and since starting to teach children). I see how they react to things and know it is my job to teach them coping mechanisms and to deal with frustration and disappointment without losing it. And in the process, I’ve changed my tune a little. There is still a long way to go, but I can see major progress from who I was ten years ago, from who I was just a few years ago.
What about you? Do you struggle with anger? Do you struggle with blaming others?