According to a Mental Health Organization report, more than 1 in 10 people say they have trouble controlling their own anger.
As an African-American pastor living today in the United States, I see things through different eyes than some people. While I didn't grow up in the ghetto, it was about one block over, and I have seen all kinds of reasons people from that background are angry. But I didn't stay there; in fact, I became very successful, so I have seen the reasons why people from other backgrounds are also angry.
Racially-charged shootings have polarized communities, even entire states, and anger at the injustices or even the perception of a double standard has enflamed communities and given rise to all kinds of angry outbursts. Whether the events that set them off were wrong or not, these outbursts of rage are evidence of the anger that has been smoldering just beneath the calm surface, and it is our job, all of us, to see that the underlying issues are addressed and not just the things that set them off.
Right or wrong, justified or not, we are an angry people.
But why? In my book, U Mad? I propose that our anger as a society isn't just a racial issue, it's an emotional and spiritual one experienced by people of every race, ethnicity, background and faith. Yet all too often, we're treating this problem as though it is only a psychological one, when in fact it has spiritual roots as well. We cannot adequately treat a problem that includes the spiritual with tools that only involve the psychological.
God has a plan for dealing with anger. After all, He created us able to experience this emotion, and while He doesn't want it in charge of our lives it has its place along with every other emotion. Yet that place is not in charge and driving our lives; it's in the back seat, with the real you in the driver's seat.
I invite you to find out how get back behind the wheel of your life and to take control away from your anger God's way.
Pick up a copy of pastor Bradley's book to learn the simple steps God gave him for dealing with his own anger.
Pastor Dimitri Bradley is senior pastor of The City Church Richmond, in Richmond, Virginia. Find out more at dimitribradley.com.
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