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“The Heart of Anger” – Book review

The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo Our homeschool covering has offered to cut $30 off our tuition if we’d read a book. That’s too easy.

The catch? Both mother and father have to read the same book, and the book has to come from a particular list of spiritual parenting books. Then, the father has to send in an e-mail, reporting what he liked or didn’t like about the book.

We’re on the home stretch. 

Here’s my own analysis of the book: 

While The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo didn’t thrill me with any new “aha” moments, it did provide thoughtful questions that I needed to ask myself, not only to deal with anger in children, but especially with my own anger.

“What did I want, desire, or long for when I became angry?”

The question can be a tough one for a child. But do we adults fare any better when answering it? Or would we even dare ask it to ourselves to begin with?

Here are more questions to dig even deeper into the source of anger:

  • What is it that I believe I can’t be happy without?
  • What is it that I crave?
  • What is it that I believe I must have?
  • What do I spend most of my spare time thinking about?
  • What is it that I worry most about losing?
  • What do I delight in (seek my happiness) the most?
  • What do I love more than I love God and my neighbor?

angry girl Mr. Priolo suggests using an “Anger Journal” to keep track of the answers, along with answers to other questions: What circumstances led to my becoming angry? What did I say/do when I became angry? What is the biblical evaluation of what I said/did when I became angry? What should I have said/done when I became angry?

Honestly, those aren’t the questions I typically ask myself in the heat of the moment. But after the storm, they do come up. Because I don’t like an angry me, I want to curb it.

The only way I know how is by focusing on the Lord and seeking his guidance. Anger itself can be a diagnostic tool. It identifies bad spots in my heart, areas where I need the Spirit to shine his light.

The best evidence that a Christian desires (loves) something more than he desires (loves) God, is his willingness to sin against God, either in order to acquire that desire or because he cannot acquire it. (John 14:15). One of the most common sins that demonstrates the presence of inordinate desire is anger.

By seeing what I idolize, I can dethrone it and put God back in his rightful position. Not always easy, but definitely worthwhile. Definitely worth far more than $30.


Karen said...

Adding this to my list...

denise said...

Maybe I should have read this instead of The Dance of Anger. More Biblical. In fact, today I already got angry and raised my voice at one of my children. What did I want? Siblings to be nice to one another and think of the other more highly than they think of themselves. And also peace and quiet for me! Not at all altruistic motives.

Unknown said...

cool, i've been glancing thru your blog, but now that my new laptop has arrived i'll be reading more, when i can take a break from all this reading for class, good stuff, yours is one of the blogs worth breaking away for


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