Sep. 9, 2016

Get mad and then get over it.


I am growing increasingly frustrated. No, those words do not fully explain my feelings. I am angry that some people do not feel I have a right to get angry. People are funny when it comes to anger. We seem to want to rant and rave about everyone’s rights, but then we want to talk people out of being angry telling them anger is wrong.

Growing up female is difficult. Little boys, and also bigger boys, are allowed to get angry. In fact, it is seen as a masculine trait and some insecure women are drawn to it as an attribute of emotional power.  That “bad boy” syndrome gets many innocent women into trouble. Thinking anger is sexy is dead wrong.

Girls aren’t typically given permission to get angry. We are told to be “sugar and spice and everything nice.” We are taught to be kind, quiet and respectful. Boys are encouraged to be rough, strong, brave, and to not cry. We are a really messed up group of people, aren’t we?

I am encouraged that the issue of anger and gender bias is lessening. It is not extinct since we have front row seats to it in this Presidential race. The man is seen as strong and tough to most men. The woman is watched to make sure her actions don’t make us uncomfortable. I like Dolly Parton’s observation – they are both nuts.

It took a large number of women getting angry for everyone else to listen. If women didn’t get angry, we wouldn’t be voting. If women didn’t get angry, the courts would still allow men to see women as property. If women didn't get angry, special needs children would still be dying in isolated institutions instead of thriving in public schools. If women didn’t get angry, our courts, hospitals, governmental departments, and corporations wouldn’t see the balance of a woman’s touch.

She has just as much right to get angry as he does. In fact, her anger typically moves mountains. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Bible never stops saying it – anger isn’t sinful; how we react to anger determines our sin level.

Here is the key: Is our anger productive or destructive? If anger forces us to improve, let’s get angry. If anger only causes us to gripe, we need to put on our big girl and big boy pants.

As we develop more into Christ’s image, we are allowed to get mad. We won’t have the desire to stay mad. We’ll do something productive with our anger.

1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (MSG), “The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.”