3 Reasons that My Anger Could be Sending Me to Hell

Image credit: Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay

I’m having a bad attitude this week. 

I could give a lot of excuses, but none of them would be valid. This morning, I’m giving myself permission to spend twenty more minutes (the amount of time it will take me to write this blog post) to linger in my obnoxious state of mind. Then I’m going to let it all go and get busy doing the work God is calling me to today.

The problem I’m dealing with is one that rarely burdens me: anger.

Normally, I’m a go with the flow type of person who can find a silver lining and a rainbow behind 99.9% of the clouds in her life. But every once in a while, anger (usually over something very stupid) seeps in. And when it does, I’m like a kid, gorging herself with too many cookies. They taste so good while they are in your mouth… but when you’ve finally stepped away, they feel putrid.

This morning, in praying through the situation I’m dealing with, I came across this beautiful quote from St. Catherine of Sienna:

There is no sin or wrong that gives a man a foretaste of hell in this life as anger and impatience.
St.Catherine of Sienna

Anger and impatience = hell? Really. That’s not good. I definitely don’t want even a “foretaste of hell”.

Here are three reasons that my anger could be sending me to hell:

  1. When I’m preoccupied with such a state of impatience, I can focus on little else, especially my prayer. I let my needed prayer disciplines fall by the wayside.
  2. Anger, in my case, leads directly to dysfunctional, sinful behavior. Anger means a second beer (when I didn’t need the first), dessert for lunch, slothfulness, and gossip.
  3. In working myself into a fit of angry mentality, I lose sight of Christ in the “target” of my frustration. I forget that there is a person or persons on the other end of my superiority complex. I neglect to see their side of what is happening. I turn a mirror, selfie style, on ME: my needs, my position, my being right. Even when I’m not. Christ, who should be present in everyone I encounter during my days, is there. But I am blinded to Christ’s presence. I rob myself of Christ’s love, expressed to me in every person with whom I interact. I send myself towards hell.

I don’t want to go to hell. So the time for me to “snap out of it” is now.

UPDATE: My friend and fellow blogger Dr. Gregory Popčak, author of the brilliant new book Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart, offers some sage advice on anger at his blog.

A question for you: Have you been angry about something lately? What did you do to “snap out of it”?

Image credit: Pixabay

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  • Sarah

    Wow! This is so insightful and to the point, Lisa! I needed this.

    • lisahendey

      Sarah, thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  • http://www.thefaithfultraveler.com/ Diana von Glahn

    You are awesome. Thank you for posting this, bc we all get like this from time to time. (Dessert for lunch? YES PLEASE!… I so don’t need that!) Here’s what I do to try to stop being angry:

    1. Pray the St Michael prayer. It is amazing.

    2. Work out. Oh my Lord, how doing squats and burpees takes my mind off of whatever I’m angry about! (I hate burpees more than anything else I hate!)

    3. Go for a walk and pray. #1 and #2 combined. Always good.

    4. Sleep on it. Hard to do in the middle of the day, but it does work.

    5. Watch funny videos. My personal favorite: anything having to do with Teddy the munchy, yummy-sound-making porcupine. (here’s one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGz8jcbJjRw)

    For now, I will pray for you to snap out of it. You could always slap yourself, ala Cher in Moonstruck, and yell “Snap out of it!” for a little drama. It may also make you laugh.

    • lisahendey

      Diana, so right on so many levels. I am going to keep Teddy on speed dial. Feeling better already!!

      • http://www.thefaithfultraveler.com/ Diana von Glahn

        He is adorbs.

  • http://sfomom.blogspot.com/ Barb S

    OUCH! That one hit me where I live. I think St. Catherine might have been referring to my attitude in the after-school hours yesterday. I’m going to go read what Dr. Greg has to say now. Thank you for this article!

    • lisahendey

      You’ll love his post Barb.

  • http://www.survivingourblessings.com/ Abbey

    I struggle with this, too…especially with blaming others for my anger. They were in the wrong, so I cannot be blamed for getting angry (I tell myself, anyway!). The volume of my voice goes up every time I get angry, so I have to put myself in time out to avoid yelling at everybody who lives with me (and possibly saying something I might regret). Thanks for the good suggestions on how to cope. I’m working on it!

  • Nancy Ward

    What do I do to get over my anger? In random order: Surrender the good and the bad feelings and circumstances to God. Sing songs of praise to God instead of ranting. Exercise as vigorously as I can where I am. Renounce my anger, pride, fear in the name of Jesus and receive his mercy and peace in place of these destruction emotions. Thanks, Lisa