David Powlison’s Anger: Escaping the Maze

Anger is something that all of us are tempted with. Be it on the road or in the house, the desire to express oneself through anger is an ever present threat. For this reason, David Powlison’s basic study of anger is an invaluable resource.

Powlison begins by questioning the myths of anger. Most poignantly, he notes that anger is not a vague “something within us”, but rather a choice we make. This is comforting for all who have ever wondered if they¬†can¬†control their anger. It will undoubtedly be a long hard journey for some, but, Powlison argues, it can be controlled. Ultimately it comes down to our relationship with God.

Powlison goes on to recommend a few questions that will help a person before anger gets out of control. The questions are: (1) What is my situation? (2) How do I react? (3) What are my motives? (4) What are the consequences? (5) What is true? (6) How can I turn to God for help? (7) How should I respond in this situation to glorify God? and (8) What are the consequence of faith and obedience? These questions create a very helpful framework in which we can better evaluate our anger before it gets out of control.

You will benefit greatly from this book whether you consider yourself to struggle with anger or not. It is very brief, a pamphlet really, and serves primarily as a primer on the issue of anger. Nonetheless, if you have ever gripped the steering wheel and felt the anger creeping up from your toes, you will find much to think about here.

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