THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGER, Spiritual Director’s Message for October 2010


Dear Friend of Emmaus

If we’re honest, we will admit that each of us has dealt with feelings of ANGER and FRUSTRATION. Most of us know what it feels like to waiting a long line for something we really don’t want to do. Or what it feels like to miss an important opportunity to do something we have looked forward to for a long time.

We can empathize with those who were not given a promotion, whose ideas were rejected at the homeowners meeting, who were cut off in traffic or ignored, bumped, scared, and treated with contempt along the road of life.

We all have to face the flush of ANGER and HURT when it rises from deep within.

ANGER has many faces. Some are subtle and barely noticeable while others are open for all to view. If left unattended, ANGER can quickly grow into a dangerous force that affects our spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being.

People who either explode in ANGER or seethe in resentment and self-pity usually find it difficult to maintain close personal ties with others. Nothing derails a loving relationship faster than animosity or buried aggression.

These hamper our fellowship with the Lord and keep us from experiencing the fullness of His blessings.   

ANGER, while it is something that God has given us, must be dealt with according to His standards. If it is held inside and not released in the proper way, it becomes a gateway for many of life’s problems.

But thankfully, God has given us a way to overcome ANGRY feelings–we can let go of them and forgive. This does not mean denying frustrations and hurts when they come our way. The Bible records many instances where the Lord is ANGRY with those who violate His law. Jesus became ANGRY at the money changers in the Temple (Mark 11:15). He cursed the fig tree for failing to bear fruit (Matt 21:19). But unlike so many of us, God expresses ANGER in love and righteousness. He doesn’t hold grudges but instead forgives and continues to love.

In fact, we can experience a wondrous freedom when we give God our hurt and ANGER.He is the only One who really knows how to deal with the powerful emotion and turn it into something good.

Yours in Christ
Bishop Jim Sunderland
Spiritual Director
Keystone Emmaus


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