The Dangers of being an Anger-Stuffer

“What’s making you angry?”

I recoiled against the question, whispered to that sacred space where heart and mind meet soul.

“I’m not angry,” I spoke through clenched teeth into the silence of my car.

I felt the Holy Spirit repeat His question.
My shoulders fell.
My voice quavered as self-awareness mixed with pain.
The damn cracked.
The first words were whispered.
The next spoken aloud.
The rest shouted.

Whether a enneagram 9 trait, my Meyer’s Briggs combination, a characteristic of being an introvert, or just part of being me—I am an anger-stuffer.

A shove it way down deep anger-stuffer.

Anger makes me nervous—twitchy.

But worse than the fuzzy head and tingly fingers I get from anger, my anger stuffing tendencies have a far more sinister effect—withdrawing from that which I should pursue.

And that’s what I was starting to do.

And God was calling me on it.

But He wasn’t just looking to reveal the symptom, He was looking to treat the source.

At first I didn’t understand how telling God about my feelings of anger might help. After all, giving voice to my feelings was not going to change my circumstances.

And it didn’t.

But—as if injecting a powerful antibiotic—what it did do was stop the festering spread of anger in my soul.

And while nothing was instantly fixed, everything was different.

By naming my feelings, I dragged them into the light. And there—in the light of God’s love and power—those feelings that had owned me for so long began to lose their power.

That day, as the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to release something I was terrified to surrender, and patiently listened as it poured out, His role as Counselor became more evident than ever. I didn’t have to guard my words, or worry about offending Him. He simply listened. He simply loved.

And amazingly, after I had released all that had been stuffed inside, I realized I was not empty. Instead, I was filled with a peace I hadn’t expected.

The circumstances weren’t any different, but I was.

And as a weightless peace filled my soul, I found I was no longer content to retreat in anger—but ready to pursue in love.

Grateful to a Wonderful Counselor who never retreats from pursuing us….


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