Every day of our lives we are surrounded by anger. From impatient drivers, to impatient people in a line, to conflict in personal relationships, anger is everywhere. In the counselling work that I do, I see the damage that anger does in the lives of countless people. Thankfully, many excellent books have been written about this subject that have been of invaluable help in counseling.
A Small Book About a Big Problem by Ed. Welch is such a book. Yet it is different to any other that I have read. It contains fifty meditations about anger with the purpose of helping the reader gain a heart of wisdom. Being written as meditations means that the reader can mull over the teaching on the subject and let it penetrate into his or her life. Welch defines anger as judging others as guilty and being easy on self, and argues that we need to judge self and run to wisdom while being a humble servant of Jesus and others.
As I read the book, I could see four broad areas that were covered:
The Nature of Anger
Welch explains the nature of anger, what it looks like, that it is against God, that it affects others and destroys, that is from Satan, that is learned from others, and that is seen in grumbling, complaining, and jealousy.
The Need for Wisdom
Instead of living in anger, the meditations teach the need for wisdom, for humility, the importance of thankfulness, and the importance of submitting to God's will.
Welch describes God's anger, shows how it is different to human anger, shows how Jesus was angry, and that God is the perfect Judge and will judge.
Relating Well to Others
Welch reflected on how to live in a different way than in anger. He writes about the need for forgiveness from God, forgiveness from and to others, how to talk to God when we are angry, understanding what it means that we are forgiven by God, the difference that the work of the Lord on the cross makes for our anger, the importance of blessing others, the importance of dealing with our own hearts and seeking to understand others, and dealing with the human tendency to blame.
A Small Book About a Big Problem is an excellent book of fifty meditations about anger. As it explains the nature of anger, the need for wisdom, God's anger, and how to relate well to others, the reader is helped gain a heart of wisdom and deal with his or her anger in a constructive way that is honouring to the Lord. The meditations make it easy for the reader to reflect on the content and to see how to apply it to life. Since it is written as meditations, it is a very useful book that can be given to people we help as they seek to let the Lord change their responses to the temptations to anger in their lives.