and God nger affects our lives physically. The medical profession currently puts high cholesterol. Anger is never entirely selfcontained.CHAPTEr 3 ConseQUenCes Anger’s Impact on Us. God did not create the human body to accommodate long-term anger. psychologically. scientific and medical researchers are finding that a significant number of serious diseases—including some of the most deadly—are chronic in nature. smoking. Others. . five of which we will explore in this chapter. Anger certainly is one of the negative emotions that has been linked to a wide variety of ailments. It also influences our performance in completing tasks or fulfilling our work responsibilities. It always has consequences that touch those around us. and linked to the way we think or process our emotions. anger has an impact on God. More important. and spiritually. related to our lifestyle choices. emotionally. A tHe ImPACt oF AngeR on YoU PeRsonALLY Anger affects you personally in a number of ways. Anger Affects Your Health More and more.

Over time. and the person tends to speak in a louder-than-normal voice. arthritis. people tend to attribute negative physical symptoms to stress. a third are on pain meds. her hands sweat. I’m in the shape I am today because of anger. strokes. This allows the person to have greater strength to fight or run away as fast as possible. It produces a state of internal stress—a little like trying to drive with one foot on the gas pedal and the other on the brake. the body produces a surge of adrenaline to deal with crisis. heart ailments. The long-term effects include ulcers. “It seems a third of my patients are on stomach meds. a man came forward at the end of a church service. When a person becomes angry.indd 44 6/2/10 10:41:03 AM . And most of them wouldn’t need any of them if they’d deal with the emotional issues in their lives.” surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. But adrenaline can be both friend and foe. her heart beats faster. and the rest are on tranquilizers. the doctors have told me that my stroke was caused by anger. Every system and organ in the body is affected in a negative way. Tell people that anger can do to them what it did to me. the muscles tense. and digestion is hindered.44 ❙ surviving in an AngRY WoRLD and anger on equal footing when it comes to their destructive influence. “Dr. this drip-drip-drip of adrenaline and other hormones within the human body is extremely detrimental. Anger has both immediate and lasting effects.” A few months ago. They are either not aware or refuse to acknowledge that anger is to blame. Stanley. and depression. the body continues to produce adrenaline in small quantities to address the perceived danger that the mind and heart indicate is present. He had heard me talk about the negative physical effects of anger and said. In addition. The stomach tenses. These natural responses occur immediately and require no thought or intention. her blood pressure rises. When anger is suppressed. All these are outcomes that God created as part of our flight-or-fight response to danger or a threat. Rather than own up to anger. He was bent over and used a cane. A doctor once said to me. The face turns red.

Those who study human behavior have noted a number of characteristics in angry people: • Tardiness—very often in an attempt to control a situation or draw attention to himself so he can express anger. • Cynicism—finding fault in every person or situation. the words an angry person speaks—even if dripping with kindness—give the person away. She objects to every idea suggested with an air of disdain. • Obstructive behavior in groups—a lack of cooperation to the point that the person is truly disagreeable. I have been in countless meetings where one person objects to anything that is proposed or offered as a solution. Anger Influences Your Attitude and Behavior You cannot hide anger. As much as a person attempts to hide it. • Sloppy job performance—the angry person is often resentful to surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. the clenching of the jaw. It doesn’t take long for a sensitive. At times. anger will reveal itself.oUR AngRY WoRLD ❙ 45 No issue and no amount of anger is worth holding on to if it destroys your health. even if it’s off the topic.indd 45 6/2/10 10:41:03 AM . There’s something in the flashing of the eyes. • Disrupting conversations—the angry person often feels a deep need to interject his or her opinion. I have come to recognize the obstructive person as someone who is almost always angry. astute person to recognize it in another person. or the edgy tone in the voice. • Jabbing jokes—telling embarrassing stories with the intent of hurting the subject of the joke.

intimate. what that person is doing is expressing anger to someone else through an act. Animals do that. • Eating disorders—angry people can overeat. or overexercise. When a person is angry and wants sex. wonderful. • Procrastination—the angry person has little desire to start new things that require focus or creativity. surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. Angry people often slide into periods of deep discouragement and despair.46 ❙ surviving in an AngRY WoRLD the point that he no longer cares about doing a good job. it’s a whole different story. The angry person would rather brood than laugh. But when genuine. This very often translates into a down-in-the-mouth attitude. It’s damaging and can destroy a life and a marriage. • Sexual dysfunction—many people have problems in their sexual lives because they’re angry. And angry people don’t realize that a loving and sensitive husband or wife knows there’s no love in what they’re doing. That’s how powerful and deceptive anger is. godly. They frequently find themselves facing obesity or anorexia or bulimia. in part because they hate the fact that nobody seems to take their anger as seriously as they do. He is not motivated to give his best effort. undereat. • Loss of enthusiasm—the angry person does not want to be happy. • Depression—what begins as a self-imposed lack of enthusiasm can end up as full-blown depression.indd 46 6/2/10 10:41:03 AM . The angry person may withdraw from social settings or turn down invitations to public events. true love is present. Sex without love is an act.

would care. She said. Anger will taint every aspect of one’s life. Sometimes the arguments are very intense. Your body rejuvenates itself during sleep—old cells are replaced by new ones. The deception is that when you finally do get to sleep after an angry conversation with a person who is or isn’t there. This is clearly evident when it comes to getting proper rest. But anger can disrupt sleep patterns and can keep people from getting the full night’s rest they need. “I’ve been arguing with my husband. it will spill over into other areas.indd 47 6/2/10 10:41:03 AM . you may think that your anger has been fully vented and is. or it would make a difference. The mind is also renewed. for ten years. Dan could not hear her complaints. gone. Sleep has benefits too numerous to mention here. Your anger will surface surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. and tissues are cleansed of toxins. Your anger hasn’t disappeared. Even if their anger is aimed at just one person or situation. it is—especially since we’ve been divorced for eleven years. Is someone keeping you awake at night because of his or her insulting remarks or critical comments? Are you facing a situation that has you so frustrated you just can’t seem to let it go? Do you find yourself tossing and turning over what someone did or said? A person once said to me.” This woman was still having “conversations” with her former husband long after he had left their bedroom. therefore.” “That’s a very long time to be arguing with someone.” I replied. It has simply moved into your subconscious where it will simmer and brew. She would express her frustration and anger out loud as if he could hear. or her sobbing. her reasoning. They can last half a night. But that isn’t the case.oUR AngRY WoRLD ❙ 47 Anger Disturbs Your Sleep Angry people generally are incapable of experiencing deep inner peace. “Yes. It cannot be compartmentalized. She felt such anger toward him that it kept her awake for hours at a time. Dan. hormone levels are rebalanced.

lethargic. don’t go to bed angry. You can count on waking up feeling worn out. They could include answers and solutions to questions and problems that were confusing or puzzling to you the day before. then you are likely to sleep well through the night and awaken refreshed. Get rid of your anger before you fall asleep. And it’s not a matter of if. And one of the keys to making sure you get the best sleep possible is guarding your heart and mind from potentially harmful or distracting messages that your brain will process through the night. repair.indd 48 6/2/10 10:41:03 AM .48 ❙ surviving in an AngRY WoRLD again. and nourishment of cells and tissues. and ready to take on the challenges ahead. You may very well awaken with creative ideas that you didn’t have yesterday. peace in your relationship with God. For years I have encouraged people to pray and read the Bible— especially the Psalms and other books that are especially comforting surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. It’s a matter of when. and infuses you with energy and strength to face the day ahead. Your brain keeps the body functioning. What you feed your mind is processed all night long in a way that either contributes to or detracts from your well-being. you are most likely going to have a fitful night’s sleep. A similar thing happens in your cognitive and emotional realms. and enthusiasm for what the coming day holds. On the other hand. energetic. The portions of the brain that govern your body’s involuntary muscles and systems continue working to keep your lungs breathing and your heart beating while you sleep. hatred. If you fall asleep with your last thoughts being ones of joy and thanksgiving. The importance of getting a good night’s rest cannot be overemphasized. in some way at some time. The Bible tells us clearly: “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26). utilizes the nutrients you have consumed during the day. if your last thoughts before falling asleep are ones marked by bitterness. and with very little motivating energy to do your work or contribute your best to the responsibilities that lie ahead. revenge. and anger. In other words. coordinates the replenishment.

31). Adam and Eve walked with God “in the cool of the evening”—which is the time just after the sun sets and before the sky is completely dark. we learn from the creation story that “There was evening and there was morning. It makes us aware of the fact that God is. has been. Reading the Scriptures and talking to God are the two best sleep aids I know. For thousands of years. and at peace with God. 23. Life’s minor problems don’t have much impact. every day was thought to begin at sundown. all-powerful. Each of Adam and Eve’s days began with rest. In those final moments of the day. Pray for Him to make any necessary changes in your life so you can become the person He intends and created you to be. 8. Such a conversation will leave you feeling cleansed. and peace between them and God. plan. and all-loving. When the sun set on Monday night. I encourage you to get on your knees and thank Him for what He enabled you to accomplish. Having a conversation with God just before going to sleep fills your heart and mind with the awareness and assurance that you have a personal relationship with the One who is all-wise. 19. it was actually the start of Tuesday. Reading the Bible fills us with positive and eternal truth. In Genesis. 13.indd 49 6/2/10 10:41:03 AM . renewed. and always will be in control of every aspect of our lives. and thank Him for His constant presence in your life. accomplishment. it creates a very deep sense of confidence. We will see every challenge and opportunity in the context of God’s eternal will. Ask God to guide your thinking and your work tomorrow. and purpose for our lives—and each situation and circumstance can be seen in the context of the heavenly Father’s abiding love and awesome grace. When that knowledge becomes part of our thinking night after night. They began their next day with God by discussing the previous day with Him. Ask the Lord to forgive any sin in your life and to help you forgive the sin of others. In the Bible. one day” (Genesis 1:5.oUR AngRY WoRLD ❙ 49 and encouraging—as the last two things they do before going to bed at night. and the major ones can be taken in stride. Jewish men have gathered together between surviving_1p_i_x_1_246.

and worry—all of which intensify the longer they stay awake. a nightly ritual. They allowed their minds to be filled with the Word of God. You are likely to develop a sense of personal failure and low self-worth. I can guarantee you this: if you go to bed angry. Then they turn off the lights and wonder why they can’t seem to relax. and less of a desire to pursue good goals. so that all night the Lord could work to sink His truth into their minds. most men and women eat some kind of junk food or sugary snack that sends their digestive and nervous systems into overdrive. If you go to bed angry with someone. while their minds are reeling in an attempt to make sense of all the negative images they have seen and heard. Compare that to how many people in our modern world spend their late-evening hours. If you go to bed angry with yourself.50 ❙ surviving in an AngRY WoRLD sundown and bedtime to read and study the Torah and the Talmud. Their bodies are trying to digest and absorb what they have eaten. frustration. and apply His law to their lives. sexual innuendo. It is a vicious cycle and. you will awaken feeling a loss of hope. You will not have the faith to conquer what lies ahead. Some read a novel filled with those same things. you will wake up angry. Or they turn on a television program filled with violence. You will have less optimism. renew their desire to obey His commands. Any peace they hope to have gives way to agitation. and peace. surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. you will wake up angry at yourself—and feel like a victim to your own emotions. joy.indd 50 6/2/10 10:41:04 AM . If you go to bed angry with God. too often. or inappropriate language. In the last few hours before they go to bed. you will still feel anger toward that person the next day—and your anger is likely to be greater and more intense. They watch a news program that very often presents images of war or criminal activity. less enthusiasm.

The net result is an empty life. whether they are personal or professional. As a result.indd 51 6/2/10 10:41:04 AM . You struggle to come up with creative ideas. Do any of those actions describe how you deal with people you’re angry with? Even if you don’t think you’re hurting yourself by doing one or more of those things. you are. Those who are intensely angry at another person who has hurt or rejected them very often make strong statements such as: “I will never trust anyone again in that area of my life. Over time. The vast majority of us will choose a peaceful. Most of us are reluctant to accept invitations or receive affection from people who have made us angry. Anger Affects Your Thought Processes Long-lasting anger changes the way a person thinks. intimate or casual. it’s likely to go up against everybody. or involved. and intimate friendships. brooding one.oUR AngRY WoRLD ❙ 51 Anger Influences Your Perspective Angry people often put up a shield against the person who hurt or upset them. They may go out of their way to avoid that man or woman. the angry person finds himself or herself intensely lonely. When you’re angry with someone. joyful person over a dark.” or. “I’m going to protect myself and not get close to another person as long as I live. If you put up a shield against one person. invited. We’ve all seen it happen or experienced it personally. or you may find yourself unable to maintain a high level of output. angry people are increasingly alone and not included. Angry people often find their thoughts wandering surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. lasting. you very often find it difficult to stay focused on your work. This isolating effect makes many angry people even angrier! They resent being rejected and seek to justify or express their anger all the more. Few people enjoy associating with angry people. It invariably becomes part of one’s thought processes. This holds true for nearly all relationships.” Anger has an isolating effect and will interfere with your ability to form close.

An ancient Jewish proverb reads: “Anger deprives a sage of his wisdom. inspired vision and make new plans. If they get hurt. Anger weakens our ability to have a clear. No one can totally tune out another person’s tirade. A church will not minister effectively if it is filled with angry people. It simply is not possible to work in harmony with another person. innocent people are victims of anger from a person they don’t even know. Anger produces a double mind. A person’s concentration can linger on her anger and the incidents that gave rise to it. set goals.” I have no doubt as to the truth of that statement.52 ❙ surviving in an AngRY WoRLD off task to what they could have or should have said or done to the subject of their anger. even as she attempts to focus on the work and responsibilities of any given day. they can walk away. The players surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. “My anger doesn’t hurt anybody. A work group will not be as productive or creative if one or more members is angry. innovation. or accomplish anything if one or both people in a relationship harbors anger. a prophet of his vision. You may choose not to take to heart the other person’s anger. If they don’t want to hear my angry words. Often. A marriage will suffer greatly if it is present. Very little mental energy is left for creativity. the greater the potential for longlasting negative impact.” That isn’t really a valid argument. tHe ImPACt oF AngeR on YoUR ReLAtIonsHIPs Anger always affects your relationships. especially those that matter most to you. Anger disrupts family life and interferes with parent-child relationships. But you cannot avoid having to deal with it in some way. The greater your anger.indd 52 6/2/10 10:41:04 AM . A man argued with me one day saying. it’s because they chose to be hurt. That was the case at an Orioles baseball game in 1894. or for processing information in the light of God’s Word.

“But you are the depressor. “I’m not the one with depression.” he declared. tension. and morale are affected negatively. All aspects of productivity. A salesman admitted to erupting in anger frequently.indd 53 6/2/10 10:41:04 AM . And we often see anger as a sign that someone is distancing himself or herself from a group or individual. and frustration. He maintained a pleasant outward demeanor toward his supervisors and fellow employees. with the people at work.” Anger not only rises from criticism and accusations. the wooden stands of the stadium caught fire. But still.” A nurse standing nearby muttered to herself. whether it’s intended or not. He wasn’t angry with his wife. “But never in public.oUR AngRY WoRLD ❙ 53 began to argue with members of the opposing team. That’s one reason people seek to distance themselves from an angry person. Outbursts of anger cause everyone within range to feel some degree of emotional pain. His wife shriveled on the inside at his outbursts. Feelings of isolation. A few months ago I heard about a woman who had spent more than twenty years married to a very angry man. 107 buildings in Baltimore were burned beyond restoration. Anger in any environment creates unrest. A full-scale riot ensued and for reasons that aren’t fully clear. She knew he wasn’t angry with her. The sad truth is that this environment exists even if the angry person didn’t intend to create it. “What for?” the man asked. Before the fire was extinguished. it also generates criticism and accusations. But once he arrived at home. alienation. Her psychiatrists saw the situation in a different light and suggested that the angry husband seek counseling. and rejection are common in angry people. he vented all his anger in profane tirades that sometimes lasted two to three hours. She wondered what might happen if she ever disappointed him surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. but rather. Yet he saw absolutely no connection between the anger he vented at home and the fact that his wife had been admitted to a mental hospital. and then the fans got involved. his words and tone deeply disturbed her inner peace. quality.

did make him angry over time. hurt. Children and parents can become angry with one another. and their marriage eventually ended in a bitter. abuse. If not dealt with properly.indd 54 6/2/10 10:41:04 AM . the anger doesn’t dissipate—it takes new forms associated with guilt. If that anger results in estrangement or tragedy of some type. or lying become folded in to the decaying relationship. anger is cyclical.54 ❙ surviving in an AngRY WoRLD the way his coworkers seemed to. recrimination. criticism. of course. he created a state of constant turmoil through his inability to control his anger or maintain a loving atmosphere in his relationship with his wife. and the result is a growing pool of anger. ugly divorce. She pulled away from him both emotionally and physically. She began to seek ways of escaping emotionally and closing off parts of her heart from him so that she would not feel wounded. But one of the things they were most angry about was who would get the woman’s Bible! Now I understand that perhaps the notes this devoted Christian woman had made in the margins of her Bible may have been the greatest surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. This spiral downward picked up speed over the years. All the children and grandchildren started wrangling over the dead woman’s estate. In most cases. Although this man never struck his wife or shouted at her. vengeance. a lady told me what happened after her mother died. Let me assure you that time—on its own—does not heal it. and further criticism and pain. Not long ago. blame. anger grows ever greater and does not diminish on its own. So when the time came for them to go to bed at night. They were all angry at one another and fighting over who was going to get this and who was going to have that. and before long he wasn’t just angry—he was an angry alcoholic. the last thing this woman wanted was for her husband to be intimate with her. Money was the primary issue and seemed to be the only thing that mattered. And that too can be a cycle that escalates over time. More and more instances of neglect. He turned to alcohol to help him calm his anger. Her pulling away.

Sin separates us from the Father and prevents us from receiving His best. So the Bible warns us. faith. Resist any attempts to dismiss or trivialize the impact of anger. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30). The effects of anger can be devastating in terms of physical. fail to receive them. Take anger seriously. Finally. Through the years. I have become increasingly amazed at how many people believe that God has no emotions and that their behavior does not prompt an emotional response in Him. It is a roadblock to experiencing God’s love. hope. Do not allow others to laugh about their short fuse. Any message of the Father’s loving-kindness tends to be viewed with suspicion. But to fight over a copy of God’s Word is totally unacceptable. Anger hinders the work He has called us to do. Do not DIsmIss tHe ImPACt oF YoUR AngeR Your anger is no laughing matter.indd 55 6/2/10 10:41:04 AM . Refuse to make light of it. tHe ImPACt oF AngeR on goD Can a person’s anger affect God? Most definitely. emotional.oUR AngRY WoRLD ❙ 55 legacy she left her children. and spiritual pain and suffering. Anger can upset us to the point where we fail to perceive God’s blessings. The witness of a constantly angry person who identifies Jesus Christ as Savior tends to fall on deaf ears. anger will hinder God’s blessings in our lives. joy. And our anger can hinder the work that God desires to do in the life of another person. surviving_1p_i_x_1_246. and in consequence. and peace in our lives. The truth is that what we say and do causes God to rejoice or to grieve. And bad anger does not please our heavenly Father.

56 ❙ surviving in an AngRY WoRLD Health. If you want a better future. you must deal with it. Make a list of what you believe are consequences of anger. happiness. prosperity. How have the consequences helped resolve the root issue that leads to anger? 3. Reflect on what you wrote. 2. How have these consequences hindered the resolution of the issue? Discuss your thoughts with one or two persons you trust and ask for their honest feedback. ADmIt It—DeAL WItH It 1. 4. and purpose are all negatively affected by anger.indd 56 6/2/10 10:41:04 AM . Now write down precisely what you can and will do to address your anger. surviving_1p_i_x_1_246.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful