I just started reading Wayne Mack’s Anger & Stress Management God’s Way. Good reading so far. Wayne Mack is a very fine teacher of biblical counseling and I enjoy how his writing reflects his experience, as not only a counselor, but also as a Christian working through various issues himself. (By the way, you ought to check out his website. Lots of helpful material can be found there.)
(This is actually an older post, but in the spirit of my new feature on book reviews, I’m “reprinting” it.)
Here are a few highlights from the first chapter…
In the first chapter Mack discusses the fact that anger can be righteous or sinful. He makes the point, and I agree, that all too often we claim that our anger is righteous when in reality, it’s not. My observation is that we usually attribute “righteous indignation” to ourselves but seldom give that same benefit of the doubt to anyone else.
Here are a few characteristics of sinful anger that Mack discusses…
- Our anger is sinful when we become angry for the wrong reasons. (he notes that in many cases these wrong reasons have almost everything to do with selfishness and/or self-centeredness on our part. Very true.) I think that it also has to do with unrealistic expectations on our part. When we think we’re due something, and don’t get it, we can really fly off the handle. Mack calls these “the rights” that we tend to believe we’re entitled to. He gives a long list on pages 17-18 of these “rights”… and asks the reader to identify himself or herself in that list. I showed up too many times to be comfortable. YIKES!
- Our anger is sinful when we allow our anger to control us. I really agree with the following words… though they condemn me…
“…we usually find it easier to allow the emotion of anger to control us, rather than maintaining control of our anger. How often have we heard someone say (or said it ourselves), “I was so angry, I just couldn’t help myself!”? What is this person saying? In reality, they’re excusing themselves for being out of control, and from the actions that resulted from their anger. They’re claiming no responsibility for what they did because they were at the mercy of their anger.”
- Our anger is sinful when it becomes the dominant feature of our life. He continues, “If other people’s first impressions of us are that we are touchy, irritable, or easily annoyed, then we may have a problem with sinful anger.”
I’ve only read one chapter thus far, so it may be too early to officially recommend the book. However, I have read many other books by Mack and believe that his books are usually worth the time and effort and, more often than not, yield much fruit in my own life.