Saturday, December 5, 2009
I have learned a lot this last semester. I have really been struggling with a certain person and felt a lot of anger towards them. (Well, a lot of anger for me. You probably know that I'm a lot like my father and Giselle in Enchanted, and therefore anger is a relatively new concept for me. haha.)I usually keep my mouth shut and leave the situation so people can see of little of my anger as possible. But a few weeks ago I was listening to a BYU forum by Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson. He said that the method I use is not the best way to handle anger, because it does not solve the problem; when the issue resurfaces there is even more anger and hurt because it has not been dealt with. This was a new revelation for me! I am not great at it yet, but I have been working on trying to handle my anger in a positive.
Then this morning I was reading Elder Kent D. Watson's talk "Being Temperate in All Things" which was even more of a revelation to me! (Such perfect timing too- definitely a tender mercy.) Here is what Elder Watson said:
"When others are unkind, Jesus taught that 'my kindness shall not depart from thee.' When we are confronted with affliction, He said: 'Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.'When we are oppressed, we can be comforted in knowing 'he was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.' 'Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.'
"When Jesus Christ, the greatest of all, suffered for us to the extent that He bled from every pore, He did not express anger or revile in suffering. With unsurpassed self-restraint, or temperance, His thoughts were not of Himself but of you and of me. And then, in humility and full of love, He said, 'Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.'"
Did you catch that? Christ did not EXPRESS his anger, but I'm sure He felt it, since He felt all of the pain and hurt that each of us has experienced. And this means that it is not a sin to feel angry! It is ok for us to feel our feelings, and as I've learned to accept that, it has brought so much peace and confidence into my life. But anyway, Christ did not express His anger in this situationHe did express anger earlier when people were defiling the temple, because it was constructive. In that situation He had the power to stand up for what is right, to teach, to make a change. But in the situation of His crucifixion, He knew that He was surrounded by deaf ears and His words would do no good, so He remained silent. He is the perfect example to us - sometimes it is good to express our anger in a positive way, but sometimes it is best to say nothing.
As one who needs to stand up for myself more, I think it's time to express my anger in a positive way that will bring the needed change and address the issues I face so this hurt and pain will stop building up. It's time to say what I need to say.