Healing from Anger


      Mrs. X enters the hospital again. She is bruised about the head and chest, has two broken ribs and both eyes are swollen shut.  She claims she has fallen down the stairs again. No one is deceived.  Mrs. X is the victim of a husband whose anger is out of control. There are thousands of Mrs. Xs.

      When five year old Bobby spills his milk, his mother becomes enraged, yelling and screaming, calling him clumsy and stupid.  She sees the hurt in his face and later, riddled by guilt, she hugs him and may even buy him toys to try to make up for her outburst. She knows it doesn't.

      Two  students at Columbine High School, seething with anger and vengeance because they felt unaccepted by fellow students, ran through the halls shooting students and teachers at random.  Uncontrolled anger seems to be the hallmark of our society.

        The person who suffers from anger which he does not understand, and often cannot control, already condemns himself.  Usually he knows he has a problem.  Sometimes the problem is so great he's ashamed to talk about it .  The husband who beats his wife and children is filled with remorse after each outburst. He promises it will never happen again. He may weep and get down on his knees to beg forgiveness.    Yet the abuse and his misery continue.  He knows he needs help and cannot overcome his anger on his own, but he is too ashamed to admit his problem.

        Many angry people do not realize how much damage their anger is causing.  They do not recognize themselves as angry persons.  They prefer to call it a "short fuse", or a bad temper. The man who can't hold a job because he is aggressive, domineering, and quarrelsome, seldom realizes that hidden anger may be the root of his problem.

         A young mother told me that she knew she had a short temper and sometimes yelled at her children and shouted at her  husband, but she always got over it quickly, apologized and made up.   Then one day while shopping in the supermarket she witnessed a mother screaming, threatening, and shaking her child for some very minor offense.  She saw the resentment in the child's face, and the hot tears of anger.   She saw  herself !   She  went to the library and checked out some books on dealing with anger.    She said,  "I did some real soul searching, and prayed a lot as I read.  When I finally realized why I was angry, not just the symptoms, but the cause, I was on my way to healing.  I had prayed about my temper before, but  I needed to understand the damage my anger was doing to my children and my husband. I needed to know how deep rooted my anger was and why I was angry.  I believe the Lord used that incident in the supermarket and those books to bring healing."

        Many people who find the courage and persistence to  face their anger and seek to understand the cause through reading or counseling, are surprised to find that they have come from dysfunctional families, or  suffered verbal and emotional abuse which they have not consciously been aware of before.  They discover the reason for their anger.

        Whether you consider your anger a great problem, or a mild problem, a trip to the library to check out some books on the subject is a good idea. (See Below)  Uncontrolled anger has become a major social problem, costing millions of dollars, thousands of lives, and untold misery.  Angry people produce angry offspring.  Knowing something about the subject  has become necessary for all of us.

       Sometimes a trip to the library is just the first step toward healing. Counseling may be necessary.  Support groups are helpful.  If anger is destroying your life and poisoning all your relationships, you probably have come to the point of hating, not only the destructiveness of anger, but you have come to hate yourself also.  You need to be reminded that your Creator still loves you.  He not only can and  will help you, but wants to.   Whatever you have done in anger cannot keep God from loving you. " ... nothing can separate us from His love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the world above or the world below - there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38

        God wants you to come to Him in spite of everything. He will forgive you if you sincerely ask.
 He came in Christ  to bring us back into fellowship with Himself.  There is only one response to such love---to love him in return.   His love longs to transform  our life,  giving us His Holy Spirit to help us to live pleasing to Him.   If you do not have a personal relationship of love and fellowship with God through Christ,  see  How to Get to Heaven from Wherever You are...    on this web site.

 If you are a believer but still find yourself given to outbreaks of anger, please go to the library, or your Christian bookstore,  and check out some good books on the subject.   Finding out the source of that (sometimes hidden) anger  can lead toward  healing.  "You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."  (John  8:32-33)  )    You need to learn the truth about why you are angry.

    There is the need to mention another dimension to anger.  That is the situation in which one is very aware of  why  they are angry.  This anger is situational and usually directed toward the cause of some particular hurt or injustice.  When a spouse betrays their marriage partner, or a man's wife or child is raped,  or a drunk driver kills a loved one, anger is a normal response.

    As normal as anger is in such cases, it can be a dangerous emotion.  Yet denying it, squelching it,
or trying to hide it can lead to bitterness,  hate,  or physical illness.  We must find healthy ways to express  anger in such situations.  It is essential to learn all you can through reading about anger and how to deal with it.   Counseling and support groups are also usually necessary.


                                                      Copyright 1999


For further reading:

Neil C. Warren,  Make Anger your Ally, (Tyndal)
Jim Daniels,   The Face of Anger,    (Compassion Press)

Leo Carter and Frank Minirth,  The Anger Work Book  (Nelson)