Saturday, February 18, 2017

Anger by Gary Chapman (book review)

A few months ago at my moms group, a few lovely ladies told me that I seem like a very patient and calm mom. Let me be the first to say, that is unfortunately not true. I struggle so very much with yelling and being angry with my children and my husband. Usually, it is over things that are not important. Mountains out of molehills.

So this year, I decided to fight against it. I have read other books about anger, including "The Orange Rhino," and studies on Bible verses that speak of anger and patience. I started to read "Anger: taming a powerful emotion" by Gary Chapman because the author is someone that I have grown to trust through his other publications (The 5 Love Languages).

I don't know if you are a yeller or if you struggle with anger (passive-aggressive is also anger), but I will say that this book has helped me so greatly. I will say it is a divine intervention for me.
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Chapman introduces his book with a reminder in the first chapter that anger is an emotion given to us by God, not a sin. God himself shows anger in the Bible, as does his son Jesus. Chapman says that anger has been given to us in order to move us. If we are mad about the sex trade and slavery, it will move us to pursue justice. The creators of the group MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) were mad about people being killed by drunk drivers!

So if anger is a God-given emotion, why is it that we feel so guilty about it? It comes down to realizing that there are two kinds of anger- definitive and distorted. "Definitive anger is born of wrongdoing." Distorted anger "is triggered by a major disappointment, and unfulfilled desires, frustrated effort, a bad mood, or any number of other things that have nothing to do with any moral transgression." This was a huge turning point in my head. Most of my anger is distorted. My children make annoying noises, I am in a bad mood, I can't have this or that, I was not a productive person today. Any of those things can lead to me exploding. None of those things is a moral issue.

Throughout the book "Anger," Chapman gives strategies on how to identify our anger and what to do when we feel that anger. Many of the strategies seem easy but will not necessarily be easy for a person who is angry. However, I believe with a little bit of discipline and practice before getting angry (visualization), many people can be helped through their anger with this book.

It has been a few weeks since I finish this book and it took me a few weeks to get through. I have already seen personal transformation in this book. I can only name one instance in the last several weeks when I yelled at my kids. It is humbling to admit even that one instance but my hope is to encourage other people, especially moms.
We are all under enormous pressure from outside sources and ourselves and sometimes we just buckle under the pressure. We snap and yell and react horribly. But I am not alone in this and neither are you. We can, in fact, overcome anger to be able to use it in a constructive manner that God intended it to be used in.

I think the best thing about "Anger" is that each chapter ends with "quick takes" that share the information in a condensed form from each chapter. I believe that these "quick takes" will allow people who read this book to go back quickly and see steps and techniques needed to help them.

You can take a personal anger assessment at

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Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own and may vary from others'.

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