I’m angry at the Church. I’m angry at Joel Osteen and TD Jakes for perverting the Gospel, for twisting it into the Health and Wealth movement. I’m angry at churches that give away AR-15’s to attract guests and increase membership. I’m angry with Christians who post one-liners on Facebook that supposedly answer life’s most difficult questions. I’m angry about the fact that Three Taverns Church has failed in its current incarnation. Once again I’ve been rejected; I’ve failed; I wasn’t good enough.
But as my friend Dr. Lawson would say, anger is a secondary emotion. There’s something else going on underneath all my anger, and today during our run I think I encountered it.
I vented my anger while he quietly listened, matching my slow pace. After pausing for a half mile or more while I tried to dig to the “primary emotions” behind my anger, I finally got there: “David, I’m sad because I’m hurting so much over the church, and I want to go home, but there is no home for me to go home to.”
Yes, I’m sad about the Church in all its failings, but my anger stems from a much deeper sadness that I have no safe place to process my pain and rejection. I feel accepted nowhere, and though the Church should be a place that accepts everyone, it’s not the case for me.
What anger have you felt over the last few days? What do you think might be the “primary emotions” driving your anger?