So, this anger thing is a self-control issue. You know, another lesson plan in the life management curriculum. We might wonder how we're doing in controlling our urges, impulses, emotions, and personal behaviors. Look around. Pay attention to some of our societal trouble areas---obesity, binge drinking, drug addiction, excessive spending, fast driving, sports mania, and the racks of impulse items strategically displayed near the check out counter. just to mention a few. Even the people in the psychology department rank self-control among our most difficult self management dilemmas. And, anger is about self-control, that is, keeping our emotions and compulsions in check. Angry outbursts happen when circumstances take command of us. They are in control.
What is the deal with management of self? Yes, it is a difficult assignment, learning the virtue, thought, and discipline of egonomics. And, another affirmative, it requires growth and development of the whole person, meaning physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Of course, the Christian world view through which I filter life experience affirms this total approach to life management. It moves in several directions---
The value of physical exercise.
Scripture affirms the care of the human body. The Apostle Paul wrote, "...bodily training is of some value..." (1 Timothy 4: 8, ESV), and also referenced athletic well-being when he wrote "...Every athlete exercises self-control in all things (1 Corinthians 9: 25, ESV). There are many other verses about good health, keeping the body under control, and references about running the race, finishing the course, developing with endurance, physical stamina, hard work, and personal discipline. I'm really drawn to the verse about athletes exercising "self control" in all things. Surely egonomics involves physical well-being.
The value of emotional stability.
We are emotional beings. Who doesn't know happiness, fear, anxiety, sadness, our topical emphasis, anger, and all the others? They are our companions every day for the length of our lives. Hundreds of Bible verses affirm the spiritual preparation for bringing self-control into the emotional realities of life. My favorite is Galatians 5: 22-23, Paul's word about the fruit of the spirit---"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law". Here are the spiritual fruit that generate redemptive responses to the world around us. Yes, note again the promise of self-control.
The value of spiritual growth.
Yes, we are spiritual beings as well. More and more it is a forgotten aspect of healthy living. Our angry world is a real life illustration of this sad truth about our national morality. Jesus told the crowds attending the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" (Matthew 5: 6, ESV). The ideal of being satisfied may be one of the root impulses in our angry world. It's incredible how many people are dissatisfied with multiple life issues. Many other Bible verses address the spiritual nature of life. Perhaps we should pay more attention to them. .
Egonomics is learning the management of self. Self-control is one of the basic life management principles. And, it is a fruit of this spiritual life. When self-control is one of our personal egonomic goals, our anger can be managed. And, it's time for us to practice a little self management as we face the anger that is igniting the worst in us right now.