What Our Anger Is Telling Us

Anger is not good for you, at least not in its typical form. New studies argue that regular feelings of anger increase the likelihood for heart disease, and that within two hours of an outburst, the chances of a heart attack or stroke skyrocket. Which means all you angry folks better watch out; it's a dangerous foible.

But wait. Anger is more than a problem for "you angry people." It is actually a problem for all of us -- that includes you and me.

Traditionally, the anger issue has been divided up between those who get angry and those who don't. Some personalities tend toward red-faced eruptions; others are unflappably relaxed and easy-going. But the truth is, everyone gets angry -- it's just expressed in different ways. Neurophysiologist Nerina Ramlakham says, "Now we separate people differently into those who hold rage in and those who express it out" ("Why Anger Is Bad for You"). The question, then, isn't who gets angry, but why we all get angry.

And why we get angry has to do with love.

The Love Behind Anger

Anger doesn't come out of nowhere. It's not an original emotion. In one degree or another, anger is our response to whatever endangers something we love. "In its uncorrupted origin," says Tim Keller, "anger is actually a form of love" (“The Healing of Anger"). Anger is love in motion to deal with a threat to someone or something we truly care about. And in many ways, it can be right.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]