Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness was a book that I knew I needed to read as soon as I heard the title. Anger is a problem that everyone has (and if you think you don’t, maybe you need to pick up this book!), which makes it an important topic to learn about, especially how to control and redeem anger as this book teaches.
While I opened the book somewhat expecting to read practical advice on controlling anger, that was not what I found. This is not a self-help book on how to control your anger. Rather, Good and Angry teaches the reader that the whole concept of anger needs to be changed. Anger is not something that is foreign to you, but rather it is a very part of you. When you are angry, it is not because of something external but rather something internal. While there may be external forces that cause the internal anger to surface, avoiding these external things is not going to fix the problem of anger. The problem of anger can only be fixed when you are able to recognize the root of it as sinful, and seek to change your heart. Anger is a tricky issue, however, because not all anger is sinful. Throughout Good and Angry, Powlison does an excellent job of directing the reader to think through the entire concept of anger, and provides the reader with thoughtful concepts of how they can discern the root of their anger and whether anger in that way is righteous or unrighteous. Throughout all of Good and Angry, Powlison bases all points on Scripture, providing a generous amount of Scripture passages to back up his ideas.
David Powlison did an excellent job with Good and Angry. It was helpful, well written, and filled with practical advice that will challenge the way you see things and take you to the Word of God. Powlison exposes anger and shows the reader what anger is, how anger effects each one of us, how anger is damaging to our relationships, and how we can change the destructive patterns we create when we are angry. Powlison shows the reader what anger is, and why anger is good and necessary (when properly controlled). He points out that the good and necessary reasons for anger often escape us, and we misuse anger in ways that are sinful; but that we are able to redeem it to its purpose as God created. This is important, because anger is a root-issue, meaning that it is important to get to the root of the problem rather than applying preventative measures. While it is helpful to prevent entering situations that will make you sinfully angry, it is even more important to fix the heart-issues that cause you to grow angry. It is also important to recognize the significance of righteous anger. For example, Christians should be angry about abortion. Christians should be angry about racism. Christians should be angry about things that the Lord is angry about. This kind of anger is good! Throughout Good and Angry, Powlison seeks to direct readers to consider their struggles with anger, and whether their anger is primarily sinful or righteous. One way that Powlison does this is by practical application points. I love that at the end of each chapter, Powlison prioritizes application in a section titled “making it your own”. These sections at the end of the chapter provide brief summary and questions that allow the reader to reflect on what they have learned and find a way to apply the concepts taught in the chapter to real-life scenarios.
Good and Angry is an excellent resource on anger, and one that I would recommend to anyone who recognizes that anger is something that they struggle with, and that wants to work towards fixing the problem of sinful anger in their life. We are all affected by anger in various ways and this book is an excellent resource as we seek to tackle the problem of sin.
Powlison, David. Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining and Bitterness. Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2016. 256pp. Paperback, $17.99.
Visit the publisher’s page.
Thanks to New Growth Press for the review copy!