I was talking with my friend Rich Brown recently about some thoughts on anger that I have been working through. I mentioned that Dallas Willard connects anger to our ego. Rich mentioned in passing that anger is also connected to idolatry. It didn’t hit me at the time how profound that statement was.
In a recent situation, I was battling my own anger when I asked God, “why, in Your providence, are You allowing me to face this situation? What do You want to teach me through my own frustration?” I realized that my anger was rooted in disproportionate values. In other words, my anger was rooted in idolatry.
When our hearts are trusting in God, with our hope rooted in His providence, there is little that can shake us; however, when we desire something more than we desire the glory of God (whether it be comfort, plans, success, reputation, respect, ect.), we grow angry when it is taken away from us.
When we are angry, we should ask God what that anger reveals about our hearts and ask Him what He wants to show us from our anger. We will probably find that uprooting our hearts idolatry is more important and gratifying that what we wanted in the first place.