WHAT'S MAKING YOU SO ANGRY?
WHAT'S MAKING YOU SO ANGRY? -- Genesis 38:24 NIV
About three months later Judah was told, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant."
When Judah found out that Tamar was pregnant, he was furious! How dare this widow of his son become pregnant by a man outside their family! Discovering her sin, he ordered that she be brought out and burned. Seems a little strange, doesn't it? Something like a double standard? In practical, man-centered terms, no, it wasn't. Considering the status of women at that time, Judah had every right to be angry. A woman's primary purpose was to have children, to create heirs for the blood line. When a woman became pregnant by someone outside of her family (other than her husband, or a brother of her husband if she was a widow), she defiled the blood line of the family. A man, however, was expected to sleep with the shrine prostitutes. They were supported by donations to the (pagan) temple and sleeping with them was supposed to be a blessing, according to pagan belief. If one of them became pregnant, well, it didn't hurt anyone's blood line. But even in light of this, it still seems a little ludicrous for Judah to become angry with Tamar in light of his own sins.
You and I are no different. Take a look at your dealings with other people. Who makes you more angry? The person who does exactly the same things you do, of course… the one who commits your own sins. The sins others commit that are foreign to you don't create the same disturbance within you as the sins you recognize as up close and personal, do they? The child who is a carbon copy of you is the one you have the most difficulty with, isn't he? Why is this true? Because when you see someone doing something that you are guilty of yourself, it brings you that much closer to acknowledging that same sin in yourself. You naturally don't want to do that, so it makes you angry.
The next time you really get furious when you see someone committing a wrong, ask yourself why you're so angry. Look deep within yourself. Is it that your anger stems from the nearness of that person's sin to your own? Possibly not. Possibly, your anger is justified. Possibly, your anger is righteous anger. But, if the opposite is true… if your anger wells up because you recognize your own sin in that person, then remove yourself from that sin. Turn away from it. And ask God for His forgiveness for it. Then, and only then, can you have peace.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3-5 NIV
I have heard references like this before from the self help gurus out there (nope, not a follower)...anyway, I didn't agree with them, and now that I have read a biblical reference to it, I am rethinking my own anger - yep, I am one ball of anger - why? I am still trying to get to the bottom of that one, but my anger stems from injustice - hey! I have my answer FINALLY! Wow...I love how we learn when we least expect it....
Now..my question is this...for you, what/how do you see the opinion that our anger is because we age just as guilty as the person we are angry at philosophy? I am just curious...