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This Subtle Fact Can Palliate Your Anger
Anger is as a result of clashing opinions. When someone seems to get angry easily, the main thing to address is the person’s thoughts. The assumptions one has about another person actually determines whether or not he’s going to get offended when challenged with a distasteful confrontation.
The thoughts and assumptions one allows into his mind are supposed to be scrutinized constantly. Otherwise, anger will seem almost uncontrollable. When we assume without proofs, it makes us get too sensitive and all worked-up about whatever happens around us.
The Necessary Assumption
You can’t be any better than your assumptions about life. The assumptions you have about people will determine your behavior towards them. When your assumption about people is wrong, you’ll hate them easily. But when it’s right or true, you’ll find it easy to love them. The truth of the matter is that, if you see and perceive people for who they really are—like Jesus saw them—you’ll love them effortlessly.
Many people unwisely let their feeling control what they think or assume about people. These self-centered folks always assume wrongly and negatively, thus eliciting irrational behavior. They allow their selfishness cloud their sense of rationality in thoughts and decision-making. On the other hand, selfless people are those who do ‘see’ clearly; their perception and assumption of others isn’t obscured by any selfish, negative emotion—they always have the right assumptions. And that helps them behave rightly.
There’s a necessary assumption that will palliate your anger a great deal. As a matter of fact, it’s more than an assumption, it’s a fact. Jesus had a way he saw whatever happened to him. And he never saw things for what they were not, as against what they really were. He knew everyman’s thoughts and when he was confronted with an annoying scenario, he was seldom moved to react irrationally because how he saw things was exactly right—he never assumed wrongly.
There are 2 scenarios we would examine where Jesus was offended and made some comments about those offending him. In fact, on one occasion, he was being killed slowly.
First, in Luke 23:34, we see Jesus being crucified, hanging on the cross half dead. Naturally speaking, he ought to be thinking of revenge or something of the sort. But he was so consoled that he began begging God on their behalf saying, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they’re doing.” You see, where he naturally was supposed to be totally hostile, he was totally loving. He must have been thinking a certain way.
Next, let us examine the second scenario in Matthew 12:22-37. Here he was being maligned by some petty folks who had a bad attitude towards the miracles he performed. They accused him of using diabolical powers to work those miracles, and Jesus’ response among others was this, in verses 34: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
Now don’t think because he called them vipers that he was trying to be insulting; no. He was actually describing them for who they were. A viper has venomous substance on its inside. And it’s usually injected into its prey by a bite. Similarly, these people Jesus was addressing had ‘venomous’ substances in them in form of words; they spoke hurtful, poisonous words at will.
Examining both scenes, we can adduce that Jesus knew these:
- The people were acting based on ignorance.
- The people would’ve behaved better if they knew what they were doing.
- The people couldn’t do any better than they were already doing.
- The people were acting based on the corrupt state of their hearts.
- The only way to get them change their behavior was to get them change the nature of their hearts—not getting mad at them.
Normally, when we get mad at people, our thoughts are usually antithetical to the ones enumerated above. These are the necessary assumptions that apply to every offender. Now, since Jesus was able to maintain his composure and rationality amidst the most unbearable event, it’s important we begin to see and assume things the way he did so we would also maintain our composure and rationality in the midst of offence.
It’s important to note that a good strategy to not getting easily offended by people is to first, like Jesus did, start by scrutinizing them. Examine the circumstances surrounding their actions. Examine why they did it, and so on. When you do so, using Jesus’ pattern, you would come to discover that pretty much everyone is an ignorant offender.
Why? Because Jesus said in Matthew 12:35, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” Now, it’s totally impossible for a man with a good heart to bring forth or do evil things, and vice versa.
Accordingly, if anyone seemed to bring forth evil things, in other words, act in an offensive manner, it was evidence to the fact that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and, consequently, can’t do any better than he’s already doing.
Of course, you would expect that anyone who’s doing something ought to be conscious of the fact that he’s doing it, however, that consciousness is mental, not spiritual. And the ‘heart’ Jesus was referring to in v.35 was implying the ‘spirit’ of man. If the consciousness is mental, that’s not enough; he still doesn’t know what he’s doing. This is because his behaviors are still being controlled by his spiritual nature.
It’s possible that you’re conscious of something on a mental level, but on a spiritual level—you are not. The place where one’s behavioral patterns are being stored isn’t in his mind but in his spirit or heart. Your spirit is otherwise called your sub-conscious mind. And that’s what controls your actions.
Many times people do things that they can't explain why they did it but can only remeber that they did. That's ignorant offending.
It’s with this knowledge that Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” It’ll be ludicrous to assume that grown up men ‘don’t know what they’re doing’ when they even go all the way to kill someone. However, in the light this discourse, it’s perfectly true because when one is acting from a behavioral pattern, he’s literally being controlled. He can’t help himself; hence he really doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Imagine a scenario where someone steps on your foot intentionally. If it were a one-year-old baby, you would easily assume that he doesn’t know what he is doing, thus esteeming him to be an ignorant offender. Hence, it’ll be difficult for you to get angry. If, however, an adult, say, a twenty-five-year-old man steps on your foot, chances are, you would react irrationally, in anger, because you assume he’s perfectly aware of what he was doing. But, as we explained earlier, that’s not true.
Those who killed Jesus weren’t babies, they were grown up men, yet, on two separate occasions, He attested to the fact that they couldn’t have done any better than they already did—they didn’t know what they were doing. That means Jesus wasn’t lying.
Equally, we need to follow Jesus’ pattern of thoughts. In Matthew 12:33, Jesus said a tree is known by its fruits. The ‘fruits’ connotes the behavior. Now, only men who have corrupt fruit can behave in such a corrupt way as to intentionally step on someone’s foot without feeling any compuction, accordingly, that’s an indication that his heart is corrupt (v.33), and if it is, then it’s an indication that that fellow actually couldn’t be any better than he already was—his corrupt heart had made his behavior equally corrupt.
As a result of this, the necessary assumptions are subtle facts that still hold water. If you’d embrace them, and even mutter them to yourself when you’re being offended, they’ll palliate your anger greatly.
© 2017 Matthew Joseph