I'm in the mood to stir up some trouble. So how about a controversial topic of conversation?
I was recently in a church meeting where anger management and how that relates to the gospel was being discussed. Someone expressed the view that in our church you are expected to be happy all the time. Anger, sadness, frustration, etc. are taboo and maybe even a sin. That is ingrained in us from childhood. Then they used the following Primary Song as evidence:
If you chance to meet a frown,
do not let it stay.
Quickly turn it up side down
and smile that frown away.
No one likes a frowning face.
Change it for a smile.
Make the world a better place
By smiling all the while.
I didn't like the comment that was made and I really didn't like their spin on that Primary tune. I raised my hand to comment but the teacher moved on before she noticed my hand so I put it down and let it pass. Maybe that's good since I was pretty fired up at the time.
I don't think anyone expects people of our religion to be happy all the time. We're normal people and normal people get angry, sad and frustrated. But I think maybe we are held to a higher standard as far as learning to control those emotions and express them in a healthy way instead of in outbursts. Also, I don't think that Primary song is talking about only changing your own smile to a frown. I think it could also be interpreted that if you see someone else frowning, maybe a smile from you to them would help them smile. Smiles are contagious.
Now, I don't mean to get all preachy, because I clearly do get angry, frustrated and sad. And I don't always express it in a healthy way - I've shared stories on this blog that prove that. But that comment bugged me.
What about you? How do you feel about anger management as it relates to Christianity? Do you think everyone in the church expects everyone else to be perfect? What would you have said in response to that comment in a church meeting?