Over the years as a pastoral counselor I’ve had to help persons understand that anger and self care are not compatible.  In fact they are opposite and the impact of anger upon one’s life is very destructive.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian community the following:

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, . . . , be put away from you . . .”  Eph. 5:31 KJV

Briefly, the word ‘bitterness’ in the Greek New Testament is the word pikria which means poison.  The word ‘wrath’ in the Greek New Testament is thumos which means outburst of anger for the purpose of revenge.  The last word, ‘anger’, in the Greek text is orge which means anger as a state of mind or an abiding state of anger.

It is very important to understand that anger is a sentence against one’s self and those within one’s periphery.  The person or persons that are the object of one’s anger do not suffer as the one who holds on to anger.  Somatization of anger by an individual has costly spiritual and physiological consequences.

Don Colbert, M.D. wrote:

“In the early 1970’s, Dr. John Sarno, Professor of Clinical Rehabilitative Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, had treated thousands of patients with back pain.  Dr. Sarno questioned the accepted causes of back pain.  He wondered why it was that the level of pain in an individual, and the findings in his physical exams didn’t seem to match up.  At times, his findings suggested that structural abnormalities – even herniated disks – had little or nothing to do with how much pain a person experienced.”

“He discovered that painful back spasms and chronic back resulted from chronic tension, stress, frustrations, anxiety, and repressed anger. . .”

“Dr. Sarno began to treat the underlying emotional components of his patients and saw dramatic improvement.”

The Apostles Paul’s powerful words are still relevant.  When we release angery thoughts or anger as a state of mind through forgiveness we will experience emotional wellness and inner renewal.