Volcano People

Jim Still-Pepper

If you are a volcano person, you need to know that the volcano can be soothed.

fiery mountain Ftr TSP 135448730
Welcome to Mt. Mad, the tallest and most active volcano on the face of the earth. Mt. Mad blows up without warning; and when it erupts, it destroys everything nearby.

Are you a little like Mt. Mad? Some people get upset, others get mad, and others are volcano people.

If you are an active volcano,

  • you get mad over the smallest things
  • you get too mad
  • you are mad at many things
  • you are mad about things you can’t control
  • you have a hard time letting go of your anger
  • you have a hard time understanding your anger
  • your anger never seems to go away
  • your anger interferes with your sleep
  • your anger ruins relationships
  • your anger makes you want to hurt others or yourself
  • your anger takes control

If you are a volcano person, please find someone you can talk to!


A Mad World

Poverty, violence, terrorists, war, and death are a few of the things that make us mad at the world. Volcano people have lots of reasons to be mad. What makes you mad at the world?


Does Mad = Bad?

If we get angry for the right reasons and do the right things, then anger is a positive emotion. Anger helps us to correct wrongs. When Jesus got angry and drove the moneychangers out of the temple, he did not sin. His goal was not to hurt others but to correct the wrongs that made the Temple a “den of robbers” rather than a “house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13, NRSV). Anger is good when it helps the situation. Anger is negative when it hurts. How can you use your anger in positive ways?


Angry Teen Explodes Ftr TSP 140018640Hope for Volcano People

Many people think that volcano people cannot be stopped, cannot be helped; but that is simply not true. If you are a volcano person, you need to know that the volcano can be soothed. You do not have to go on erupting and ruining the relationships in your life. There is hope for even the most active volcano.

V–iew the world from a new perspective. Accept that you cannot stop all the suffering in the world but that you might be able to reduce it in some way.

O–ffer your anger to God, to be used by God. God can use your anger to work for good.

L–ook for ways to help. If you are angry about all the suffering in the world, volunteer at a hospital to help people who are suffering.

C–ast your cares on the Lord. God will sustain you.

A–ccept what you cannot change—but only if you are sure that it’s impossible. Remember: One person willing to work hard can improve the world.

N–egatives should be avoided. Remember the old saying: Two wrongs don’t make a right. What’s wrong in the world will not be made right by adding another wrong.

O–rder your anger. We usually get into trouble when our anger orders us or tells us what to do. Emotions need someone to be in charge of them. The best person to be in charge of your anger is God.



What if your anger at the world makes you angry at God? It’s OK to be mad at God. God understands anger and loves you even when you are angry. Talk to God or write God a letter about your anger. God will listen and understand.

Jim Still-Pepper has a masters degree in clinical psychology and is a therapist for youth in Zanesville, Ohio.

—from Devo’Zine (January/February 2004). Copyright © 2003 by Upper Room Ministries. All rights reserved.

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