Angry at God? (3) The root cause of my anger

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Sometimes someone is in so much physical pain that they cannot tell where the pain is coming from. It seems to come from everywhere. When someone is in that much pain, it is very difficult to get close to help.  This can be true with emotional pain too. You hurt so much, you cannot remember or identify the source and cause of the pain. You just know it hurts.  You also know that anyone who tries to help is simply adding to the pain. At your best you manage to remind yourself that they are trying to help but you are not always at your best.

Sometimes, the pain is actually long buried. You have even forgotten that you hurt until one day, someone says something, something happens, a face triggers subconscious memories and out of no-where the pain is there again.

Anger may well be simply an expression of deep, undiagnosed pain.

So, sometimes, it is helpful to identify the true cause of the pain. This means being honest with myself and with others. What is the true trigger for my anger? It may be nothing, or very little to do with the incident in which I find it bubbling up.  Of course, we need to approach this with care. Some people are quick to offer forms of talk therapy that simply make matters worse.  If the cause of the pain and anger is deep seated trauma then then help of those who specialise in PTSD should be engaged.

Now, whilst I can’t give you a scriptural proof text for this, I believe that this is a Biblical understanding of how pain and anger works. First of all, this understanding arises out of living in a sin sick world. Jesus indicates when refusing to diagnose an immediate sinful cause for a man’s blindness that the causal link is not always as direct as X causes Y. We see this also when he is asked in Luke 13 about a recent tragedy.

It may well be helpful for family members to be involved in any conversations and counselling that arises from this so that they know best how to support you, encourage you and to respond, especially when they feel that they are being accused and blamed.

Whilst counselling may help and indeed may well be necessary, it is important to remember that this can only be part of the solution. Our greatest need when responding to pain and anger is for the Gospel and the healing work of the Holy Spirit.

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