“Upon Further Reflection..."

Sometimes it doesn't take a counselor to figure out what is bothering you. Sometimes, you just aren't getting what you want. The New Testament writer James put it this way: "You cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight" (James 4:3). Pretty straightforward.

And this straightforward understand is very helpful. I was recently given this definition of anger: anger is our response to "unexpected obstacles." We hit "print" and expect a copy to come out. We queue up a video and hit "play"... and we expect it to play. Technology's failures - along with so many other failures - take us by surprise. This kind of "surprise obstacle" explains a lot of modern life and a lot of what can make us angry.

Sometimes, the explanation for anger is deeper (as I explore in a previous blog on fear), but sometimes, the explanation is simple: I'm just not getting what I want, and that takes me by surprise.


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