David Powlinson’s Good & Angry; Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining and Bitterness, packs a wealth of knowledge into a short 250 pages. It takes the casual reader from a potentially inspective angle to a most introspective one. Readers previously unaware of certain negative issues in their life may discover some potential growth areas.
Powlinson opens by debunking the myth that anger is a problem for only some of the population, explaining, “we all experience anger.” Anger may show itself in different forms, “strong-willed, argumentative, and volatile.” Or, others may find themselves “embittered by a lifetime of disappointment and disillusion.” For those who are quiet, Powlinson points out, “some of us simmer, and some of us seem dormant.” Finally, anyone not experiencing anger has likely “anesthetized or detached themselves.” The book should come with a warning, for the reader is sure to experience intense emotion on a very personal level.
Not only does Good & Angry shed light on areas of our lives where anger may reside, its pages define the emotion and provide Biblical provision for dealing with both righteous and unrighteous anger. The reader quickly learns that anger does not necessarily equate to sin, sometimes it is a “justifiable outrage” against injustice that spurs us to action on behalf of others.
The stories of real situations cleverly woven throughout the pages help lessen the blow to our psyche and show a broad range of real people successfully walking through volatile circumstances in a Christ-centric manner. Powlison grants the reader permission to “not be okay” with whatever atrocities may have been inflicted on them and confirms a generally unrecognized truth, “you will never get over it.” In a world where we are encouraged to be demi-god’s, telling ourselves that we’re OK and we can get over things with a simple pep talk, it is encouraging to find the reality; moving past anger is no simple feat, and without Christ there is no Hope.
The final chapters neatly wrap up the anger pendulum, as Powlison deals with “Everyday Anger”, Anger at Self”, and “Anger at God.” If nothing else in the books strikes a chord, those final chapters are sure to hit a bull’s-eye, for who among us has not, at some point, suffered road rage, dabbled with self loathing, or transferred our frustrations completely onto God?
Good & Angry is a must read for anyone with breath, for none of us is immune to the many forms anger takes. It is an invaluable toolbox that is sure to invoke change, even where it seemed none was needed.
***In exchange for this review, Cross Focus Media provided a complimentary copy
of the book reviewed.