Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Blame Game

A friend of mine recently asked me how I deal with anger. This was my reply:

The secret of dealing with anger is putting the things that cause your anger in perspective. Anger CAN be a good thing, but most often it is not. It is good if it motivates you to do something positive as a result of it. However, the other outcomes of anger are harmful. One can stew in their anger and put stress on their minds and bodies. Or, anger can motivate people to do something DEstructive. So, if you play the odds, the best thing to do is to let go of it.

That is where perspective comes in. I am having trouble with finances right now. That makes me upset and angry if I allow it to. The first thing we like to do is blame. I could blame my wife. She had a part in it, by quitting a job, being unemployed for months, and then taking only a part-time job when she did go back to work. On top of that, she spends too much, in my opinion.

I could blame God. He could arrange it so I would get a heavy winfall from someplace.

Or, the most painful, I could blame myself. Blaming the self is the least likely place people target in the blame game. We like to be victims, don't we? If someone else is doing something to us, we don't have near the hit on the ego and we can fantasize that if life was fair, we would be happy.

I would say blaming God is the most prevalent of the targets we have. There SEEMS to be no negative outcome. We don't have to deal with the friction blaming someone in our lives would cause; we wouldn't have to deal with self-worth and all the ugliness and pain that goes with that, either. No, we build a straw man (God) and blame Him. That way we get to blame, but do not suffer the physical consequence of it.

There are spiritual consequences, however. Oh, it isn't that God will punish us for blaming Him. He is bigger than that - and more loving. No, instead we separate ourselves further from the only One that can really help us with the problem, or the peace we need as a result of the problem. More importantly than that, we separate ourselves from a life of grace and communion with our Creator.

So, I let the anger go by putting it into perspective. I try to discover the actual source of the problem, not to blame, but to gain understanding. With understanding, comes peace. I, then, look at how things could be worse. I praise God that I have the blessings that I DO. I pray that I will see, understand, and learn from the trial - that I may be better as a result of it and that I will shine as a result of this "polishing".

7 comments:

kristen said...

A very good perspective. Sometimes we are given trials that we don't understand. But we come out a better person with a more refined character. That is part of our purpose here in life--to learn and grow; and to learn to rely on God.

Good for you for the positive outlook. And it's times like these where we really need to count our blessings.

Jeff said...

You're right. We SHOULD come out as a better person. That part is up to us.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Still...
Nothing sounds better than, "God, why are YOU doing this to ME?"
:)

Anne said...

Wow. I'm honored that I inspired a blog entry. Although, I wish I would have known before I responded as I did. Hmm....

kristarella said...

Greast post.

Anger at God is destructive. He's the guy you blame for things that are truly out of your control (illness, for example). It doesn't do any good, it's just emotionally draining for you, then what have you got left to fight disease or support someone who is trying to fight disease?

Anger is just draining in general - I'd love my attitudes to quickly move past anger onto trying to fix things, or make the best of things.

Brian said...

Whenever I get frustrated with God, I think about this...

Back in the day when swords were the pinnacle of war technology, Blacksmiths were the top dog. When a swordsman would crack his sword he'd have to take it to the Blacksmith to get it fixed. In order to fix the sword the Blacksmith would have to heat it up to an extremely hot temperature, then beat the crap out of it with a hammer. In the end, the sword comes out stronger for all the punishment.

Think of yourself as a sword. And God as the Blacksmith. Maybe this will give you a little help along the way as well.

Jeff said...

Mother Hen: Maybe, but I would check the skies for storm clouds. lol

Anne: You ALWAYS make me think. Besides, I liked your response. You don't?

Kristarella: I agree.

Brian: I agree with you, too. That is what I was referring to when I used the term, "polish". We are on the same page.