Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anger: A Powerful Emotion


Blinds us.  Distorts our view of a situation, person, circumstance, or experience.  Ruins relationships by making others uncomfortable and like they have to walk on eggshells around one who is prone to anger.  Difficult to deal with in a spouse (or parent, child, friend, boss, relative, or neighbor...).  Brings about mean words that cannot be taken back.  Controls people.  And the list goes on.

I'm sure we have known someone who would be described as an angry person, or maybe we are that person ourselves.

A mentor and friend of mine has said, "Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way" by Gary Chapman is probably the best book on the topic of anger.  And this individual has admitted to being an angry person!

Why is anger so destructive?

To begin with, it blinds us.  An example of this is to think back on a time or situation where you became very angry (and possibly yelled at the people around you, threw something, or simply went on a rant about what it was you were upset over) and how our view of the person, circumstance, or situation was exaggerated.

Anger has the tendency to blow everything out of proportion and yet somehow we rationalize our temper and illogical outbursts as just "venting", or letting off steam, or we make excuses for it because in our minds we are being logical.  All the while, those who experienced our anger may think, "You overreacted...and it was uncomfortable to be around."

Anger brings about many hurtful words toward those we care about or don't even know.  Whether we are upset about something one of our children did, or our spouse forgetting what we had reminded them about quite a few times before, or a relative who is "clueless" to how you view that situation, or even someone on the freeway or that person driving ahead of you slowing down traffic...anger shows up over various situations and brings words, behavior, and actions we may live to regret.

It is understandable that people get angry over injustice.  This should be a given.  Yet is it really an injustice that you cannot find your keys in the morning when you are running late, or that your mom forgot to buy your favorite dessert at the store and won't go grocery shopping for another week, or that the person at the cash register is being exceptionally slow and there are three people ahead of you when you have a meeting you have to be at within twenty minutes and still have to drive in traffic?

Anger also controls people.  What is so sad about this is how those being controlled often do not speak up and share how they feel because they may be timid, or not know the words to say because they can't think of a response quickly and the individual who is angry always has a response, or they might be afraid that being confronted will make the angry person even angrier and therefore the hope of change through bringing up the discussion to begin with seems daunting.

Anger separates us from those closest to us.  It causes them to lose respect for us because our temper, bad attitude, hurtful words, and rudeness can be too difficult to be around.  And sadly, the result may be one of devastation.  The wife may seek to live her "own life" because of the unwillingness of her husband to seek godly counsel or be confronted and corrected on his issue with anger (and this applies to a husband toward his wife as well, or a child with their parent, or a co-worker, friend or one who was once a close relative).

Humility, the willingness to admit you are wrong, the eagerness to apologize when you have hurt others, accountability, taking necessary steps to deal with anger, and having trusted men or women around you who have your permission to confront and correct you pertaining to anger are VERY wise steps to take in dealing with anger.

As with any sin, one may be willing to repent, yet if you are actually serious about turning from your sin (or anger), you MUST take the necessary steps toward repentance and then toward restoration with/toward those who have been negatively affected by it.

Timothy J. Keller, in his sermon entitled, "The Healing of Anger" brilliantly said the following:


Anger is an explosive, literally.  It's the dynamite of the soul.  And, as a result, anger has the power to disintegrate things, to pulverize things, like an explosive.  First of all, it can disintegrate your body.  ...All kinds of research shows that anger is much worse on your body, anger is far worse on your heart than anxiety, than sorrow, than any other emotion; even, it's harder on your heart than extreme physical exertion.  Nothing sets you up for heart attacks, nothing sets you up for heart disease, nothing rots your bones, and disintegrates your body like anger.  Anger doesn't only disintegrate the body, but also community. ...When you get angry, you throw words around like weapons.  They have an enormous amount of damaging power and they wound people, they wound relationships, they destroy relationships, very often you can never get them back.  So anger disintegrates the body, anger disintegrates the community, anger, third of all, disintegrates your wisdom; that is, your ability to make wise choices at all.

...After you've cooled off, when you think of the things you've said, when you think of the things you've done, after you've been angry and you've cooled off, don't you feel like a fool?  You know why you feel like a fool?  Cause you WERE a fool!  It's the point.  When you get angry, it distorts your view of things, your view of the situation, your view of yourself, your view of the world, your view of others, so that you make stupidly destructive choices.  But not only does anger disintegrate the body, and community, and your ability to make wise choices, it actually destroys your will.  It actually destroys your ability to make intelligent choices at all.

...Of all the emotions, anger is the one most like an addictive substance because anger leads you to denial.  You can admit you're worried, you can admit you're sorrowful, you can admit everything but anger.  Anger hides itself.  Anger, like an addictive substance, leads you into denial.  You say, "Oh, I'm not angry.  I'm just sticking up for myself.  I'm just getting it off my chest.  I'm just an activist.  I'm just looking out for justice.  I'm just a direct speaker.  I just, I tell it like it is.  I rock the boat."  Because you deny your anger, you can have anger, and the more angry you are, the more these problems, social and psychological problems show up, and the more you have anger and the problems that anger brings into your life, the broken relationships, etc.  The more that happens, it order to keep up the fiction that you haven't induced these problems yourself, you have to be even more angry.  You have to be angry at people, who let this go wrong, and people who do that.  In order to stay in denial about how angry you are and how much your anger is the root of your problems, you have to get even angrier.  Anger becomes addictive. ...

~* Timothy J. Keller's sermon, "The Healing of Anger" is available to listen to for free and download for free at the following web site:


~* "Repentance" by Manuel Gonzales is an excellent sermon which addresses the topic of repentance and restoration.  It can be read here:


"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city."  Proverbs 16: 32

If any readers of the Emma Joy blog have questions, doubts, objections, or would simply like to share what is on their heart with me, please do not hesitate to write at:  EmmaJoyBlog@gmail.com  It would be a joy to hear from you!

~* Just a reminder that I am having a giveaway for the month of December that you may sign up for until December 16th and I will announce the winner the following day.  Read "Giveaways" label at the top of page for more info!


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