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Unfulfilled Expectations to the Extreme: What Esau Teaches Us About Anger

Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” ~Genesis 27:41

One reason you get angry is because life hasn’t turned out like you expected – unfulfilled expectations. Perhaps for you there was supposed to be a knight in shining armor, meaningful and rewarding work, an attentive spouse, a white picket fence, happy and obedient children. Adulthood was supposed to mean you were finally in control. Instead, it appears you’ve been sold a huge bill of goods that’s anything but good. If you’re angry about it, get in line. The line for “it wasn’t supposed to turn out like this” is a long one. Just get in line, right behind Esau.

Esau was supposed to have the preeminent position in his family. As the firstborn, he was to receive the birthright, which was established in Deuteronomy 21:15-17. The birthright was a double portion of inheritance. But instead, the birthright went to his twin brother, Jacob, who was born second. Esau, as the firstborn, expected to receive his father’s primary blessing prior to his death. Instead, Jacob received the first blessing. Things didn’t turn out as Esau had expected, and he became angry, bitter, and bent on murder.

In the anger and bitterness over unfulfilled expectations, most women don’t resort to murdering others; most will merely kill off their own ability to be happy.

Colleen’s story tomorrow.

SOURCE: Chapter 3: “How Do Unfulfilled Expectations Affect Anger?” in Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Your Anger by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.

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