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Bob Hornstein



We live in an angry culture. All of us have been the target of someone’s anger. It could have been in the grocery line, the drive-through, at home, at work, or at an athletic event. We have all been stared at, flipped off, honked at, and barked at by upset, angry people. Our television programs are filled with anger, rage, revenge, murder, rape and other crimes of passion. We are exposed to violent movies and violent scenes in the six o’clock news. Where does all this explosive emotion come from? Why are we so angry?

For one thing, life has never been so unsettling and uncertain. As Americans, we are moving from a modern to a postmodern culture that is changing the way we think about life, marriage, parenting, purpose, values, and the meaning of our existence. We are at war and live on the brink of conflict habitually. We have become the world’s police force, relief agency, loan officer, and target of hatred.

Our modern culture is crumbling. Jobs, companies, families, stocks, and neighborhoods are facing insecurities like never before. The institutions that were once the backbone of our culture have become pockets of embittered battles, strife and insecurity.

This has had a profound impact on us as individuals and as a result, has deeply affected our relationships. The home in particular, is not the safe oasis or haven it once was. In far too many cases, it has become another battlefield. Unfortunately, we have become accustomed to verbal, emotional and physical attacks and abuse. We seem to have a high tolerance for outbursts or expressions of anger (particularly verbal) and often will justify our behavior because of the offensive nature of the stimuli that created the angry response.

This justification of anger is the basis for what I would like for us to discuss in the following pages. Just in case you don’t clearly hear me in the print to follow, I want to make one thing absolutely clear at the outset. The feelings of anger are normal, healthy, and in some settings, even righteous when expressed. The problem is not the feeling but rather the way we express this feeling to others. Our expressions of anger are what need the scrutiny of Scripture, not the experience of the emotion.


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