Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 20: Anger

Jen Final

I'm pretty sure this is a universal thing, but I could be wrong:

Anger hardens hearts.

Hard hearts can have a very hard time hearing God's voice.

But since maybe I'm the only one who does this, I'll make it personal:

I let anger harden my heart.  I can physically feel the process happening as emotions such as self-righteousness, stubbornness, self-protection, and judgement begin to leak out of my heart.  The anger starts to twist my thoughts and I get tunnel-vision.  I zero in on the fact that I have been hurt, mistreated, or wronged in some way.  And, sometimes, if it is bad enough, everything that comes in or out gets filtered through that anger.

There have been times when I have been hurt deliberately.  There have been times when I have been hurt by accident.  And there have been times when I have been hurt simply because I have perceived something through  my own brokenness and not through the reality of the situation.  But no matter if my anger is justified or not, if I cling to it instead of to God, my heart will start to walk around cloaked in self-protection.  I start to shut people out, making broad generalizations instead of seeing the hearts of those who love me.  I focus inward instead of outward and sometimes that leads me to tune out God.  I start to stroke the fires of anger, fanning that flame, instead of allowing myself to be washed over and delivered by the Holy Spirit.

It's such a process, getting rid of these emotions.  So tempting to hold onto them.  Frustrating because sometimes it take a really long time to become "un-angry."  But the key, I think, is the continual lifting up of what it not good for me to keep.  It's laying it at the foot of the cross every time it begins to threaten my relationship with the Father.  It's trading my breath for His.  It's asking for His eyes instead of my own.  It's in the asking, in the living, in the breathing that keeps me connected, that keeps the lines of communication open, that keeps Him working on severing the chains that bind me to things that are not of Him.  It's the continual movement that keeps the plaster unable to fully bind around my hearts.

Challenge:   Can you relate?  Do you ever feel like anger (or any other emotion) threatens to choke out the voice of God?  If so, how do you deal with that?  What does full surrender of the emotion look like to you?

Don't forget about these amazing authors of other "31 Days Closer to..." series:


  1. Hi Jen. I do anger well! Not good right? I suppose it would depend on if its a 'once off, you really annoyed me anger' or if its 'anger built up over time, and I'm going to explode' type thing. I know for me, the more long term anger, it helps if I tell myself to forgive and that forgiveness is a command not a request. It also helps to tell myself that forgiveness is for my soul and my relationship with Jesus and it does not necessarily impact the person I'm forgiving. Its also not necessarily an instant overnight thing. But, you are right - until you take that step, to forgive or let go, it does impact on your relationship with God.
    God bless

  2. It's funny because this is one of the reasons I took the month off from many things....and concentrated on pen and paper writing. To write...and let go of some of the things that have been binding me for a while...a big one of those being anger.... toward God. And it definitely had an impact. And I definitely felt like I was powerless and alone. Not so much now. Writing down how I felt and changed me. And it is helping me so many ways.

  3. Yes, I have felt anger...quite recently, very vividly and totally consuming.

    I know that anger is sin - plain and simple.

    But the emotion is so overpowering that it takes over and blocks out all of Him.

    Anger is destructive to my inner peace....but I have allowed it to fester. So I am letting go of it, and I can feel myself breathing again.

    Mrs. M.

  4. I can definitely relate!! I not only let anger but even more often FEAR create a filter around my heart. How to I handle it? Well, frankly, I handle it poorly/ I have no good advice to give just a heart willing to receive it through other comments.

  5. I used to really struggle with anger. My anger bubbled at the surface, and all it took was a little stir in the wrong direction, and bam, broken dishes. Yuck, there's nothing worse than an adult tantrum.

    When you are so busy counting the wrongs others have committed, it's easy to "choke out" the voice of the One whose words should matter the most.

  6. "It's the continual movement that keeps the plaster unable to fully bind around my hearts." Awesome image. I'm really enjoying your series. Becoming a highlight of my days!

  7. Oh girly...anger can eat us alive!!!!

  8. I can relate to this. This has been a journey, this ridding of anger. There is a constant reminder that He wants me to love. I don't like when I get so angry-it only hurts me-and the reputation of Christ.

  9. I agree about her series!! Its one of the things I try to check first in the day, and I didn't this morning... I have been angry all day as a reaction to the anxiety from the last 3 day's worth of chaos.

    Thank you for your obedience to Him and providing His voice with a megaphone. :)

  10. Thank you for this post. You spoke right to my heart this morning! I am SO enjoying your series this month! As another commenter said, it is a highlight to my day. Thank you for sharing the things the Lord lays on your heart. You definitely are giving me things to think about. God bless!!

  11. I think I relate more to this post than anything else you've written lately...
    How sad is that? Yes, I've had an anger-hardened-heart even lately.

    Perhaps the hurt first bleeds sorrow...then the seeping sorrow crusts into a thick scab of anger...and if I let it fester, the infection of bitterness sets in. Such pain; such self-induced suffering.
    Can I learn to let the hurt bleed out in my sorrow? Can I let the wound seep, and cry salty-healing tears over it? Can I find His salve of comfort, so that His Truth might be the bandage to promote a gentler healing process?

  12. Have you ever read the book "How We Love"? It is a personality-type book but it describes the personalities and their roots in such detail. Both my husband and I agree that it was the most vivid description of "us" in a book, ever.

    Anyway, my personality type in this book talks about having a difficult time letting go of anger. Which is true about me. It's not that I can't forgive people or move past things, but the physical feelings of anger are very hard for me to shake. After reading this book, I realized it was part of my personality type. It just helped me to have a little more grace for myself. Not an excuse to sin, but an insight into why it seems to be harder for me than for other people.


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