Sunday, October 12, 2014

Is Anger Unhealthy?

English: Cereal crops near Wendens Ambo Views ...
 Cereal crops near Wendens Ambo Views across cereal crops on farmland near Wendens Ambo. Some angry-looking storm clouds on the horizon.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Psalm 37:8
New International Version (NIV)

       This past week I have felt sick.   Not from any germ, virus, or anything that could be physically diagnosed, but I have been sick in my emotions and in my mind.   I have been functioning, but in a run-down and discouraged manner.  I have been tired and distraught.  

        The incident caught me totally unaware, like being hit unexpectedly by a truck.  I was left dazed and bewildered by a verbal attack that literally seemed to come from nowhere.  I had done nothing to provoke the incident.  Anger was incited as the result of a figment of someone else's imagination.

         Unlike the anger I might have felt from an encounter with a stranger, my anger and that of the loved one who attacked me gnawed at me from the inside, left me shaken, and stayed with me for several days.  The impact of the incident will now stay with me for a long time.

         For the most part keeping my restraint I tried to defend myself against the ugly words that were hurled my way.  False accusations and irrational fabrications were inveighed against me.  This person who is very close to me unleashed things that had apparently been brewing and stewing from within for quite some time, catching me entirely off guard.

         Ironically the whole mess could have been easily straightened out if only calmness and reasoning had prevailed.  I was able to answer the charges against me, but the verdict had been decided before I could even speak.  The anger was in the air and flaming in the heart of another and I was the whipping boy.

          That evening things were brought to a calmer state, but the hurt has lingered for me.   Sometimes anger leads us to do and say things that we should not.   Anger leads us to sin.   Anger makes us sick.  I try to keep the peace, but war only breaks out when at least one side wants to shatter that peace.  

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
James 1:19-20
New International Version (NIV)


  1. All I could add to that is, sometimes there is something we are blocking about ourselves that it becomes a catalyst for. Out of the ashes, a fragment of helpful truth. And then the, "Ah, I see moment." And sometimes it is just a petty, selfish attack of Satan, and the lesson is in how you overcome it.

  2. I spent my life through much of my thirties angry.

    I thought that being a man meant "defending your honor" against...everything. That trait caused my "normal" reaction to conflict or adversity to look like the behavior you are describing.

    In 1997 or so, someone gave me the book "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff." Much of the points made in the book are somewhat obvious, but I needed to read them.

    You can get the same message in Proverbs.

    Words can heal or hurt.

    Words that hurt usually do not resolve anything.

    Another truth is, that anger may or may not affect the other person, but it sure does affect the individual displaying it, and it is not a healthy affect.

    These days, very little frazzles me.

    But that took years of working at changing how I reacted to things.

    The sermon in my church last night was around conflict, and I have very little of it in my life.

    There is simply very little worth getting angry over.

    Is anger unhealthy? I believe it is, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    I would not suggest one become a doormat, but most things we let anger us are simply too trivial to get upset over.

    Or as the "Small Stuff" book said-if this will not bother you a year from now, why are you letting it bother you today?

  3. Arlee, I do believe that anger is very unhealthy. It is unhealthy for the person who is angry for whatever the reason and it is unhealthy for the person who is on the receiving end of that anger. When you don't understand why you are on the receiving end of the anger or are not able to defend yourself, you are left dealing with so many unsettled things that if you let it, it can eat you up inside, causing your health to deteriorate from worry. Sometimes the best thing in those situations is to pray for the person who is angry and turn it over to God.


Please offer your thoughts.