"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Man's Anger...

Anger: a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

It has been said that "anger is one letter short of danger" and we have all seen what it looks like when someone has given themselves over to anger. It's ugly and at times it can be outright dangerous. And though many people feel justified in their anger, there seldom is a good reason to be angry.

Proverbs 29:11 states; "A fool gives full vent to anger, but a wise person quietly holds back." Though I agree with the verse, I think we can all agree that it is easier said than done. 

As I started thinking about anger today, and specifically about a man's anger, I jotted down a few thoughts on the subject, and what causes it to manifest in a man's life:

Challenging our Manhood 

Men often, and incorrectly, view themselves positively or negatively based on what they do for a living. Careers and jobs are important to us because we often build our power, prestige and position through them. Men undoubtedly are at their best when they are engaged in serious work, the downfall occurs when we derive our identity and self-worth from this work. When someone ridicules, belittles or dismisses what we do for a living, we start to feel threatened...we start to feel weak.

When this happens the true feelings we experience is anxiety, which we often display in the form of anger. When you get down to it, we are often more hurt than we are mad.

Any time a man is challenged in the areas of employment, family and his abilities to protect and provide for them he will often become defensive. What we hear is that we "can't get it done" and we "can't take care" of you and our loved ones. And the reason we become defensive is that our job, family and our ability to care for them is who we are.

Questioning our Value

Many times men see their value through the eyes of their spouses or mates. Sometimes this is good, sometimes this is not so good. Most of the time, if were honest, the review and assessment we receive from our spouse is pretty close to being dead on. However, women still have a responsibility in how they handle the shortcomings that their husband presents. There are times when women can be overly critical of their spouse and the results can be devastating. Proverbs 21:9 states "It is to better live alone in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife in a lovely home." Proverbs 21:19 says, "It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife."

The worst thing a man can experience is for his wife to constantly criticize and devalue him as a husband, father and provider. It's equally important that we as men do our best to eliminate that from taking place to begin with. If you want to be treated like a man, then act like a man; do what is right. 

In the end, we don't need that many people to value us, but silently we desire our employer, children and most importantly our spouse to see value is us as men. We must earn it, but we must see it in your eyes, and hear it in your voices, because in the areas of being a spouse, parent and earner are not only who we are, it is also what we do.

When our Behavior is Criticized 

It's pretty simple. We're human and we're men. We're going to screw up...often. It's inevitable.

All one has to do is go to a NFL football game on any given Sunday ANY WHERE IN THE COUNTRY and watch how poor some men can behave. It's embarrassing. We, me included, are the last ones to grow up and the last ones to realize we need to grow up. Most of the time we act like boys - but want to be treated like men.

That's a problem. Just ask any women.

However, there are times that men can be simply criticized for things they enjoy doing. I do believe that with every hobby comes a responsibility. If you are blessed to have a family one must take stock of their time away from your family and how your decisions affect the finances. I can't play 36 holes of golf every Saturday and Sunday, and drop $500 in the pro shop with each outing. That ain't goin' to fly. I also need to play 18 holes and not "19 holes" if you know what I mean. Many marriages have been ruined by what happens after the golf is completed, not while it was going on.

The thing to remember is that man's behavior's is idiosyncratic and personal to him. At some point we all make internal agreements with ourselves stating what we like to do. It can be anything from motorcycle riding to reading, golf to gardening. Whatever it is, we as men like to do what we do and at the end of the day, it holds tremendous value to us...and it's often difficult for us to listen to how wrong we are for doing it.

Dr. Phil says that everything we do as human beings are done because there is a perceived or real benefit...there is a payoff. That payoff can be physical, emotional, financial or mental. Whatever the activity, the reason we do it is because it is what we value.

So there it is; when our identity, value and behavior are challenged we then become challenged in our ability to control our emotions. But if we as men are honest, most of the time our anger finds its genesis in our immaturity, and our inability to recognize that at the heart of the matter is our insecurity, ego and our desire to control every situation we find ourselves in. 

Anger is about FEAR and CONTROL.

When someone says something false (or true), nasty or unkind about us we are often mad not about what was said but about our inability to keep the other party from saying it. Our lack of control and our deeper fear that there might be truth to what was said has a bigger affect on us emotionally and mentally more than we give it credit for.

Displaying our anger during these times is often an insufficient attempt to sooth our ego, insecurities and our pride. Two things that cause the most stress for a man is his family and finances (his job/career is intimately tied to his finances), and in those times when they are threatened or challenged they will cause us to experience anger - but many times our anger has nothing to do with them.

The offense is usually embarrassingly minor and our reaction is even more embarrassingly major. And we call women "Drama Queens"?

Proverbs 14:29, 15:1, 15:8, and Proverbs 29:22 all speak to the dangers of anger, but it is Proverbs19:11 that really brings it home to me..."People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs."  My point is not to encourage others to eliminate anger from their lives; it's actually quite the opposite. Ephesians 4:26 states; "And don't sin by letting your anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down on your anger." We will become angry, but as we relinquish our need to control every situation and the words of others, when we reduce or eliminate our ego and identify our areas of insecurity we are more able to live peacefully with others, and at the same time we lessen our potential to become so easily offended. 

In another words, you can't look past another person's wrongs until you make peace with your own wrongs. I don't know if that is grammatically correct, but I hope you understand what I'm saying.

Finally, we as human beings all have access to three basic emotions; they are love, fear and anger. 

Love draws us intimately close to another.

Fear prepares us to take "flight" from the perceived threat.

Anger moves us toward another with marked intensity.

Anger is a separating emotion. Anger separates us from our family, friends and ultimately God. 

Unfortunately, it took me most of my adult life to realize these revelations and to realize that my life could be exponentially better if only I would take a deeper look at myself and look less intently at others.

I have realized that my purpose is to glorify Him in all that I do and by doing so I would become a better husband, father and friend.

When I put who I am and what I do in His hands I instantly become of more value to all those around me, and to those who depend upon me.  

Psalms 91:1 states; "Those who live in the in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty." 

Living in His shelter has freed me from fear, insecurity, ego and pride, and ultimately anger. When you find rest and peace it's hard to be angry. You find that nothing is really that important.

Except Him..and your family of course.

sbb  21.7.10  (Because of Who You Are . Martha Munizzi) .  1562

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