Hidden Anger: Rage Below the Surface

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31).

Yesterday we explored righteous vs. sinful anger. Today we look at the root cause of most anger issues: simmering rage. We might call this rage “silent rage.” It doesn’t always exhibit loud explosive outbursts, but it lies just below the surface. It strives to get back at people, take advantage of them, and hurt them, sometimes in ways unimaginable. It recalls injuries inflicted by others, and seeks to get revenge while seeking to hide that anger.

It’s important to note that anger will always manifest itself, because what resides in the heart must come out (Matthew 12:34). It also eats away at us, administering as much damage on ourselves as others. Until and unless God’s grace tames it, we cannot hope to control it.

Since anger rests in the heart, we must turn to the great physician of the soul, our gracious Lord. Ask God to work His grace in your heart and subdue this angry beast. Ask Him to fill you with His love, remembering that love “is not irritable or resentful” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

We may need to perform a “soul inventory,” asking God to reveal to our minds people we refuse to forgive. Depending on the nature of the injury you received, you will struggle more or less. But God provides supernatural grace that enables you to do what human nature on its own cannot:

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

When God works in our hearts, He reaches to the depths of the soul, working His grace in places we cannot reach on our own. If we harbor hidden rage, it will surface to our own detriment, not to mention others. Knowing this, we need to ask God to perform a work of grace in our hearts that tames the simmering rage in our hearts.

God works in degrees, and knows our human frame. When we fail at this, God graciously forgives and restore our hearts. If you have succumbed to anger or rage, ask God to not only forgive you, but to make you more Christ-like each day.

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