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Something that matters to you just isn’t right. First you see the problem, then you feel it. It starts with a rush of adrenaline and often a rush of words, but it ends with an overwhelming sense of irritation that impacts how we talk to those we live and work with, complaining,and maybe even a settled bitterness to a person or a group of person. We know anger affects us negatively, but we don’t know any other way to respond when life goes wrong.
Good and Angry, a groundbreaking new book from David Powlison, contends that anger is more than a problem to solve. Anger is our complex human response to things we perceive as wrong in a complex world, thus we must learn how to fruitfully and honestly deal with it. Powlison undertakes an in–depth exploration of the roots of anger, moral judgment, and righteous response by looking in a surprising place: God’s own anger.
Powlison reminds us that God gets angry too. He sees things in this world that aren’t right and he wants justice too. But God’s anger doesn’t devolve into manipulation or trying to control others to get his own way. Instead his anger is good and redemptive. It causes him to step into our world to make wrongs right, sending his own Son to die so that we can be reconciled. He is both our model for change and our power to change.
Good and Angry sets readers on a path toward a faithful and fruitful expression of anger, in which we return good for evil and redeem wrongs. Powlison offers practical help for people who struggle with irritation, complaining, or bitterness and gives guidance for how to respond constructively when life goes wrong. You, your family, and your friends will all be glad that you read this book.
This helpful book focuses on the topic of anger, and discusses the issue in four main sections. First, we are shown that anger is something we all struggle with, even if it manifests differently in each of us. There is then a second section discussing what anger is. This would be helpful for a counsellor or pastor, but the average reader may be tempted to skip over this to head towards the crux of the book. The third section presents an alternative to anger, which is described as the 'constructive displeasure of mercy'. We are reminded that it is right to be displeased, even angry, at injustice. Yet the author argues that we must channel that anger into a constructive act, whilst displaying mercy to the victim and the perpetrator through patience, forgiveness, charity and constructive conflict. Finally, the book examines four key areas of anger: anger at major wrongs, day to day anger, anger with oneself, and anger with God. On the whole, this book is a little longer than it needs to be for the average churchgoer, but the chapters they might skip will be of benefit to pastors and counsellors. It's insightful and challenging throughout, with key points helpfully illustrated through examples the reader can relate to. A worthwhile read.
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