Repressed anger: long-term effects

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By Dave Henning / June 25, 2020

“Long-term repressed anger will turn to bitterness that will discolor the way we see the world.  It will affect how we relate to people.  It will corrode our well-being.”- Phil Waldrep

“Anger is never without a reason, but it seldom has a good one.”- Benjamin Franklin

In Chapter 7 (“Anger”) of Beyond Betrayal, Phil Waldrep takes on the subject of anger.  First, the author describes anger as a natural reaction to (a) things that could harm us or (b) things that violate our sense of justice.  Furthermore, God hardwired anger and other core emotions (e.g. fear, disgust) into us.  Thus, anger’s not a conscious decision.  Rather, anger simply happens.

Most significantly, Phil observes, psychologists tell us that anger provides positive benefits.  Hence, they say, anger increases optimism and creativity.  However, there’s a downside to anger as well.  While God gave us anger for our protection, we also use anger to cause great harm.  As an old saying goes, “Anger is only one letter away from danger.”

Certainly, God designed anger for our good.  But the devil loves to turn God’s goodness on its head.  Satan tempts us to abuse and distort our anger.  Consequently, when we listen to the devil, an emotion meant for good harms us.

Therefore, we must deal with anger in a healthy way.  So, Phil encourages, give yourself permission to be angry so you’ll be able to process it.  Feel the anger and let it wash over you.  Think about what caused your anger and express it in a healthy way.  This process enables you to release your anger.

Finally, express your anger in an honest way.  Instead of attacking the character of the betrayer.  Rather than lashing out, attack the issue, not the person.  And almost every time, the author notes, you learn something about yourself.  Don’t allow anger to shorten and poison your life.

Today’s question: In what ways have you felt the long-term effects of repressed anger?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Unexpressed and unprocessed anger”

About the author

Dave Henning

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