Sunday, February 04, 2007

Is It OK to be Angry?

Anger is a delicate balance. On one hand, if you constantly fly off the handle, you get labeled as mean spirited and judgmental. However, if you are insincere with your real feelings, folks can see right through your false pretenses. It is hard to find the middle way.

Ok. Here is what bugs me - passive aggressive Christian folk. Disclaimer: I am not reacting to a recent event - I have witnessed this behavior for years.

A Christian therapist friend of mine just recently told me that the new edition of the gigantic diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, will this year, for the first time, contain passive aggressive behavior as a diagnosable condition. And well it should be, because from my observation point, it is rampant in the church. Otherwise good people behave in a disingenuous fashion when they become frustrated with difficult people or situations.

Someone who is passive aggressive will not tell you that they might be really pretty damn mad at you. Nope. Instead they will use other methods to convey their frustration. They will

· passively resist fulfilling routine social and occupational tasks;
· complain of being misunderstood and unappreciated by others;
· become sullen, while complaining nothing is really that wrong

What has gotten into us church people? Where did we learn to be so, well, nice?
And what about our leader? How did Jesus handle anger? Meek and mild, the Servant King? Was it Jesus the Milk Toast Savior? I have been thinking about this now for a week or so. Seems to me, Christ was a fellow who had never heard of passive aggressive coping mechanisms. He acted, spoke, and followed through in a straight forward manner. No avoidance for Him. He dealt with his anger in a healthy way. Remember that bad scene in the temple with the money changers?

Christian folk, lets get real. Lets be mad at one another. Argue, discuss, be confrontational, work out our differences. Engage in real community. Forgive.

Its very hard, even painful to do this stuff, but in the long run, well worth it. And in doing this, we might just become more real, less artificial, and more like people of real flesh and blood to a watching world around us.

Remember, they ARE watching.

Bring Back the Monkeys!

Today, for the first time in years, I sat through most of the Superbowl. I had hopes that the commercials would be, as is usually the case, better than the actual game. I was pleasantly surprised by the game, played in pouring rain, and in particular for a victory for Tony Dungy, who is a man of faith who has faced the most profound personal pain imaginable. A great win for a good man.

As for the commercials, the performance was pathetic. Sad, unimaginative, and uninspiring. If the commercials had been a football game, they would have had a final score of:

Brainless Beer Ads / Generally Uncreative - 84
Creative / Knee Slapping Funny / Inspiring - 12

A rout. The only funny moment was the ad for Emerald Nuts, which indicated something like "in the afternoon your blood sugar declines to the point where you fall asleep, and Robert Goulet appears in your office and messes with your stuff". I have this problem all the time. So glad I have found a solution.

One other item I must address. Careerbuilder needs to fire their ad agency; they are completely clueless. They have produced a series called "Career Jungle" that 1) is incomprehensible, 2) poorly edited, and 3) contains dialogue that is impossible to understand. Career Builder representatives have said that "We really want to talk about job dissatisfaction. So we have new TV work that talks about job dissatisfaction and not just bad co-workers". Oh please, people!

In my (alleged) mind, the chimpanzee campaign was one for the ages. Stay with what works. Can the ad agency. Bring back the monkeys!

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