Deadly Anger

Deadly Anger

What would cause a person to strap explosives around his body, walk into a crowded room, and kill?

What would bring a postal worker to the point of revisiting the site of his firing and take human life?

What would put a teenager on the street in prostitution?

What would send a college senior into a classroom with random murder on his mind?


Yes, but a certain kind of anger – unresolved anger. And if you follow the breadcrumb trail backwards from the point of destructive anger, you will probably find unresolved loss. Something important has been lost and we are powerless to get it back, heal it, fix it, or protect it. And we are angry.

You know the lines:

The person I’m in love with isn’t in love with me.

It’s the coach’s fault that I’m not starting.

The doctors missed the clues. They are so inept.

I deserved the promotion. They had it out for me.

This stupid job. It’s their fault for moving us here.

Those judges don’t know anything about show business. I am the country’s greatest undiscovered talent!

We lost something and we are powerless to get it back. The loss of power makes us angry. Black on black crime testifies to the fact. Rage pours from terrorists who see no other way to have the world as they wish it. The masses revolt violently. Spouses retaliate vengefully.

Anger is deadly. And like acid in a plastic jug, it destroys its container first.

Anger comes in many varieties:

  • Resignation anger – My esteem is shot. Hurt me if you want. Use me if you wish. Trample me under foot. Pain is better than nothing. At least I know I’m still alive.
  • Slow cooker anger – The lid is on but what’s inside is steaming. And when the right temp is reached, somebody’s gonna pay.
  • Blaming anger – It’s their fault. I’m a victim. You do know how bad they are. Let me tell you more.
  • Subtle, controlling anger – I’ll never let anybody do this to me again, so back off.
  • Powder keg anger – I dare you to push the button. The Incredible Hulk is going green.
  • Random anger – I’m not responsible for what I do. No one cared that I got hurt, so why should I care that they get hurt?

Follow the trail. The breadcrumbs lead to loss.

In Ephesians 4:26-27, Paul tells us to be angry and sin not. To this he pens an interesting warning. “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger and don’t make room for the devil.”

I suppose the devil prefers the low rent district of unresolved anger. He will go to bed with us, rehearse what was done to us in our dreams, and haunt our waking restlessness. He will get up the next morning and go to work on unresolved anger.

By the time he is done in the kitchen, he has cooked up a stew of bitterness, spite, prejudice, backstabbing, gossip, abuse, insulting, nerves, resentment, rage, tantrums, cussing, sulking, moods, and attitudes. He becomes the CEO of our perspective, and all reality passes through his interpretative grid. We open wide and swallow whole the stew that destroys.

Before we know it, we are enemy-centered people. We see in every person remnants of the one who wronged us. Our defenses go up toward them. Our quills extend in self-protection. Our looks kill. Our words are daggers that go deep into their soft belly. They never saw what hit them. They recoil from us. And the devil insinuates that they are our enemy. Our whole life is organized around being angry, and the devil is the daily chef of the stew we consume.

This anger is deadly.

Today’s post is an excerpt from Seven Deadly Sins: The Uncomfortable Truth.

Click here to read all the posts in my blog series, “Seven Deadly Sins.”

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