Many times we are so caught up in our anger that we can’t see the long-term effects of it.
DR. BOB’S DIAGNOSIS by Michael A. Halleen
“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4: 26
Bob Byberg was a physician and friend who had a warm and humane way of practicing his craft, whether by appointment in his office or in incidental contact in the church foyer. On one occasion he told me, “It isn’t a question of whether an illness is physical or emotional, but how much of each.”
Every thoughtful person recognizes that anger, resentment and similar negative emotions are sometimes contributors to poor health. It has been well established that these factors can cause chemical reactions in the body that over a period of time are detrimental to one’s well-being. Dr. Bob said he suspected that many people suffer poor health not from what they eat, but from what’s eating them. So the apostle’s counsel not to let the sun go down while we are still angry has physical as well as spiritual value.
Anger, like all emotions, cannot be prevented from arising when it is stirred within us. And, like other emotions, it is neither good nor bad in itself. It is just there. It is neither sinful nor unhealthy to feel anger. The problems come with actions we may think are justified by our anger or when we allow anger to linger beyond its useful life – in most cases no more than 30 seconds. Anything longer than that is usually just ego.
Dr. Bob and I once stood beside the casket of a mutual acquaintance, and I asked him if he had been the man’s physician. He smiled and said, “Yes, but I never could do anything to treat his anger.” He went on to say that he was sure the resentments the deceased man had carried had lowered his body’s capacity to resist the series of illnesses he had suffered.
I recently attended a conference at which I bumped into one of two men who had caused me to be summarily fired from a position of interim minister at a church in which they were elders. For far too long I had carried feelings of anger toward them. But at our meeting I realized that those feelings had melted away. I searched for them and found that I have been able – though only after many sunsets – to let them go. I thought of Dr. Bob and wondered if there might have been some connection between my lingering resentment and the two hospitalizations I went through in the intervening years.
Maybe, if I had handled those feelings before sunset that day…
This post written by Cathy Deaton.
Please check out my other sites:
How To Deal With A Selfish Person
Handbook for Victorious Christian Living
Blueprint for Victorious Christian Living
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