When was the last time you sat around a table talking about anger problems with men who live in a shelter? When is the last time you talked with anyone about a personal anger issue? Today I had the privilege to lead a class on anger management with 6 guys (smiling faces to the right) in the CFH shelter. Honest, forthright, asking questions of each other….better than many church groups that I have been with. Is it possible that we need to wear a “mask” at church about our issues?
The topic today was: What’s my history of anger and what type? We discussed the 10 factors that lead to anger. Then the 3 types of anger:
- Short term: he is in my face; someone messes with my stuff; hit my thumb with a hammer-recent example: a young guy didn’t give his seat to an elderly lady on the bus
- Lingering: A past event or relationship (or 2) that brings angry thoughts to the surface…the issue just doesn’t go away- a debt not paid back; a bad relationship at work; an absent father early in life; may be the only anger in my life
- Deep seated anger: One’s thoughts, words, actions reflect known or unknown emotion related to past failures, family, abuse, ex-wife, discrimination, or self condemnation…maybe the anger begins to define the person.
The men began to identify areas of their life and recognized that anger is not a “one size fits all” thing. They gave heartfelt personal examples and I saw trust build up as the men listened and asked each other questions. Though solutions were to come in class II we discussed the need of changing our thinking, the power of forgiveness and God’s greatest commandment about love. Not just the words were discussed, but the practical application to their situation. Is that something we should all do at times? Are you dealing with 1, 2 or 3 above?
Are anger issues gone after just one class? No Way! Were there emotions expressed, and even tears, that had been held in for years? Yes. God was at work today, and these men, with all their issues, are the real deal.