Hidden Anger Hurts Spiritual Seekers

May 31, 2018

Why We Hide Anger?

Our natural reaction to anger is pretty universal. We don't like it. It makes us uncomfortable and disturbs our peace. Hidden anger develops when we avoid dealing with our anger. And when that's acceptable it becomes part of the "fabric" of our life-- seamlessly woven deeply within us. I'm learning, with the help of God's mercy, the value of being loving over being right because this keeps my heart free to love and care for others as I need to.  In this way I'm also loving God. 

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This isn't always easy, but always worth it. Hidden or unresolved anger can hurt you emotionally, physically, and relationally.

Left Alone it Spreads

But what about spiritually? As strange as it may sound, we can “ forget” that we’re angry and what we’re angry about if we ignore anger long enough in ourselves. Undetected, it negatively influences your thought life and breeds havoc on your emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Before long, like weeds in a neglected garden, the unhealthy effects of hidden anger spread and impede even your ability to know and love God.   The good news is this: If we're willing God can help us resolve the problem of hidden anger in our life. He wants to give us his gift of interior peace.

Why We Have Hidden Anger

  • We don’t want to deal with it in ourselves or between ourselves and others
  • Often it’s attached to unresolved emotional pain
  • Avoiding or ignoring it seems safer and easier choice for managing it in the moment
  • Fear of judgment or abandonment compels us to keep quiet about it
  • We lack the wisdom and skills needed to effectively resolve it
  • We don’t believe anyone cares enough to hear us or to help us work through it

Our greatest advocate and friend, God, essentially becomes a quick and easy target for the angst of our unresolved anger. What makes this extremely problematic is that you can't love and hate God at the same time. He can't be your enemy and your God at the same time. He becomes one or the other--and not by his choice, but by yours. All of us can become overwhelmed by life circumstances. The important thing is to work through the anger and other emotions that arise. You wouldn't think of making your dearest friend the secret target of your frustrations. Yet, we do this to God. Thankfully, he is God, and mercifully forgives and embraces us.

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