The Root Causes of Rage and Anger
I would have never thought my story of rage would appeal to so many women. #thoughtitwasjustme
In all my years of writing in this space, there has never been an email I sent out that was opened as much as that one. I’m glad to know that what I shared has resonated with so many but just as grieved for the pain you’ve held in and then exploded.
Before we dig in, let me address a few things…
If you are raging and the other person is responding in rage, then I highly encourage the two of you to get professional help, because it won’t take long for you to be in a pattern of verbal and physical abuse which will continue to escalate.
Food for thought. If you are the only one in a fit of rage, ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed? A man in a fit of rage is a scary thought. He is much more physically powerful than a woman. Don’t be a woman of double-standards.
The goal for this article is to help you in two areas.
- Identify the real reasons for lashing out.
- Respond in a godly manner.
One of the first verses I memorized and meditated on as a new believer was 1 Peter 3:3-4. (Clearly God knew I had a temper and self-control issues!)
Gentle and quiet spirit were the words that pricked my soul. How on earth does a woman with a strong-willed, opinionated and outspoken personality (who had fits of rage) become a woman with a gentle and quiet spirit. That was the million dollar question that ran through my mind. I didn’t know how that was going to work and I had no one in my life to teach me.
I figured the Christian thing to do was to memorize those verses and keep my mouth shut when I wanted to give someone a piece of my mind! I went as far as typing up that scripture on a piece of paper and attaching it to my car dashboard. Thinking somehow through osmosis, I would become a woman who was gentle and quiet. What a laughable thought!
But here’s what happened. My mind was transformed by the Word of God, although, I didn’t realize that’s what was happening.
But before we can get to the transformation process when need to address the differing forms of anger.
1. Rage. This is the most destructive. Again, the definition of rage: violent and uncontrolled anger
3. Be angry but do not sin. (Seems impossible…but with God, all things are possible!)
4. Righteous indignation. (a holy anger) Think, Jesus turning over the tables in the temple.
And one I want to make note of is wrath. Wrath is anger wrapped up in resentment and revenge. The Bible will often use the word wrath in place of anger.
Since rage is so violent, I’m going to start there first because I want to help you remove it from your life. As you grow in your walk with Jesus, soon you’ll look back and see the habitual response of rage is nowhere to be found. (These same steps will help with anger but again, rage is the most destructive of the two, which is why I want you to address this problem/pattern first.)
I had to go on a personal journey with Jesus to unearth what was inside my heart. The excavation process was eye-opening and at times, embarassing (because I lacked self-control)
Sitting with pen and journal in hand, going to the person I trusted most with my heart and my fears, I asked Jesus to shed some light on why I would become unhinged.
Here are a few reasons we uncovered…
- Feeling unheard.
- Feeling disrespected.
- Feeling humiliated.
- Not accepted.
Not a pretty list, but rather a messy one of raw emotions. Perhaps you ‘re nodding in agreement and you might add others to the list? I feel you.
I want you to do some soul searching with your Savior to find out the real reasons for your rage.
Grab a journal and pen. Get alone with Jesus and give Him access to your heart; those hurt places you’ve got locked up in a vault. (Hint: anger is just a way to mask pain).
Pray and ask Christ to shed light on what’s really going on in your heart and mind. Once you can uncover the why/reasons then ask Him to help you respond in a godly manner, as well as help you heal the pain. (Healing can be a very long process).
Now that you know the true reason for reacting or responding in rage, then you have a choice to make.
When rage surfaces again, what is your game plan?
Will you acquiesce to the emotions?
Or will you walk away so you can get your emotions under control?
Once the situation is diffused, and you know the real reason why you felt the way you did, then you can calmly continue the dialogue.
Two simple yet, transforming steps. Uncover the real reasons for the rage. Walk away before things get out of control. I’m cheering you on!
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Live a poured out life for Christ,