Love and Anger

6/07/2015 04:54:00 PM sendtheroths 3 Comments

I’m not sure where the line between when anger ends and rage begins, but I know that I’ve found myself dancing on that line more often than not as an adult.

I would even say that my anger has been more frequent and more intense as I have matured in love.

I love my husband.
I love my country.
I love the Church.
I love my pastor.
I love the underdogs and the misfits in this world.
I love equity and justice.
I love deep, real and raw talks.
I love words.

But yet these are all things that I have gotten particularly angry with or about, even to the point of rage. There is an interesting paradox to being a person who works to end violence in a region (that has been plagued with violence for more than 20 years) and yet has a temper that can easily (if left unchecked) erupt into violence.

I have prayed, confessed and have even been angry with myself for being angry at times. Praying away my anger has never helped. Hiding my anger has never helped.

“In your anger, do not sin. ” Ephesians 4:26 

I’ve come to the conclusion that anger is often an outflow of love that most people (even myself) have struggled to control.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22

It’s okay to be angry about the young mother who died early because the hospital didn’t have the proper materials to deliver the baby.
It’s okay to be angry about when the Church makes rock stars out of people, while leaving others who really need love and attention sitting in the back row.
It’s okay to be angry about the fact that something can be inhibiting my ability to understand (or be understood by) the people I love most in this world.
It’s okay to be angry enough to want to show that bully what it feels like to be in another person’s shoes.

Anger is not a sin. Anger is instead like gasoline. It can be used to fuel an engine or it can be used to destroy an entire building. Anger and love are two sides to the same coin. It is an emotion that occurs when true love is being inhibited. …by injustice …by miscommunication …by mistrust anything.

There are days that I get so angry that as they say in Congo, I can “burn the whole house down.” The worst part about it? Sometimes it’s hard for me to even process where the anger is coming from.
But I’m learning that the root of anger is love. Some of the angriest people that I know are the most passionate people who feel deeply, think deeply and love deeply.

This is a gift and not a curse. It is necessary that we know how to use this gift though—to channel this anger into positive action and rather than violence and coercion.

Yesterday, I was angry because I want to understand the people I work with and I want to be understood by them. But that doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of hurting them with harsh words (Proverbs 15:1)--I must channel that anger into taming my tongue, thinking from other perspectives and continuing to try no matter how misunderstood I can feel—or how much I can misunderstand others.

Anger is a tool. And when used correctly, one of the most powerful tools that I have. Because the same rage that fuels riots and terrorism is also the same rage that moves people to peaceful protest, to stand up for the oppressed and end injustice.


  1. This hits home with me so much. Beautifully written and expressed.

  2. Wow. Good thoughts. Yay Jesus for patience. :)