This article sparked my curiosity about primary and secondary emotions. A quick search showed that anger is usually listed as a primary emotion, although it can also be secondary. I prefer to accept anger as a warning that our boundaries have been crossed. How we choose to react to that information is a different topic.
I know anger is dangerous. People with angry natures have increased risks of all kinds of health problems. But the answer is not to prevent ourselves from getting angry. When we stuff that anger or refuse to let it surface we make things even worse. The secret is to let ourselves be honest about how angry something or someone makes us, and learn how to move to forgiveness. Forgiveness is linked to as many health benefits as anger is to health problems. And the more practice we have forgiving the easier it becomes. That is the real cure for anger.
It would be enlightening to listen to a conversation between you and Julie de Azevedo Hanks re: anger. Interesting to have your article saying we should never be angry published the same morning as hers pointing out that even Christ was angry--and He was sinless. Yes, most times our anger is, as you have described, not necessary and is the result of our decision about how to react (instantaneous as that reaction might be). We should not be easily offended. But we will feel anger from time to time and it is important that we analyze why we are feeling that anger, that we look for the underlying emotions.
However when last year, with no warning whatsoever, our SIL informed our daughter that he didn't want to be married anymore, accusingly repeated to her (& anyone else who would listen) how she had fallen short of his expectations in every conceivable way, tried to turn friends and family against her, flatly refused to try to save their marriage and then, months later, turned out to be addicted to porn and having an affair--the real reason he wanted to be single again--she was understandably angry. Terribly hurt, utterly betrayed, and feeling completely rejected of course, but angry too. She moved past anger pretty quickly, but I don't think she was wrong to be angry that she had been lied to (and lied about) and that the person she loved & trusted most had tried his best to emotionally destroy her in order to deflect attention from his own immoral behavior. Please do not make her feel guilty for being angry about that. Now, with a year's distance, she feels sorrow, pity and even compassion for him because of the road his choices have put him on, but I don't think she was wrong to be angry.
I just read the article by Julie Hanks "Redefining “Christ-like”: Moving Beyond the Cultural Norm of Being Nice" and then scrolled down to find this article. What a contradiction. I tend to agree with Julie, that we can have strong emotions and still be Christ-like.
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