We all get angry. As humans, it is in our nature to feel emotions, and one of these emotions is anger. But this doesn’t mean that anger is a good thing or a bad thing, it’s something more complex and as Catholics, we should be aware of how anger can affect us, and the way we live as faithful stewards of God. Is anger sin? Is it bad for us? Well, let’s dive in a bit deeper and find out.
In the dictionary, Anger is defined as “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.”
Based on the dictionary definition, anger is something that we encounter in our emotions, it’s something we feel that’s not necessarily good. But let’s not base our view of anger on this definition alone, as there are a lot of other things that we should explore in order to understand what anger is.
As what we’ve talked about, Anger is a feeling of displeasure, something that you can find during times of difficulties or discomfort. Anger is also an emotion. It’s important to remember that emotions are not sins, it is something that we naturally have as humans, therefore feeling an emotion is not sinful. But just like other things, we tend to sin when we decide on how to act in certain situations.
When is Anger Good?
To some extent, anger can be seen as a good thing. When you acknowledge and express your anger, you are able to have a bit of “comfort” from whatever difficulty that you are going through, and this release of emotion may help you realize the things that you can do to solve your problems or difficulties that’s causing your anger. But not all types of anger are good, in fact, some can be dangerous.
When is Anger a Mortal Sin?
Anger is considered a mortal sin when it causes you to make harmful decisions. This can pertain to vengeful anger, uncontrolled anger, and perpetual anger. These types of anger are considered sinful because they are all geared toward harming someone. These types of anger also tap into hatred, which is a sin.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into the different types of anger, to fully understand why they are sinful and how these types of anger can gravely affect us.
Uncontrolled anger is sometimes referred to as anger issues. This type of anger can be triggered by different factors in a person’s life, it is also something that can be dealt with and be healed. Uncontrolled anger is not at all good for you and can gravely affect your physical and mental health. Most people who go through uncontrolled anger end up doing verbal or physical violence, which are considered sins.
There may be cases where a persona may have anger issues because of underlying mental illnesses that they may have and are not aware of it. In that case, their uncontrolled anger may not be considered a sin, but if they engage in violent acts, then those acts are reflected as sins. However, if you know that you have uncontrolled anger and you refuse to do anything about it and decide to live with it and foster it, then your uncontrolled anger is considered a sin.
Perpetual anger has a lot to do with how a person is constantly choosing to be bitter and negative towards things that happened in the past. These refer to situations that may have hurt them, or not being able to let go of the things that a person has done to them previously. This type of anger focuses on vengeful anger.
A person in perpetual anger may also have a mindset of “I have suffered in the past because of your mistakes, therefore I will make you suffer for the rest of your life.”
Perpetual anger will do a lot of harm to your relationships with people and in your own happiness. It will literally ruin your disposition in life because a person with perpetual anger will have a hard time realizing that there is so much more to life than bitterness, negativity, vengeance, and hurt.
We are not saying that being hurt is not valid, of course, it is valid. But allowing yourself to be in perpetual anger because of that hurt, will surely damage your perception in life, and will naturally give you a hard time fostering a more meaningful relationship with God.
Hatred in Anger
These two types of anger are considered a sin, mainly because it falls under the action and sin of hatred. It’s helpful to remember what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about hatred which is, 2303 “Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” “
We must remember that those who linger in hatred are not able to hope to be anything but unhappy. And, choosing to be in an unhappy state in your life, can cause you to be blinded by God’s love, and the meaning of true happiness that you can find in Him.
Healing from Anger
If you are going through anger in your life, you must keep an open heart and mind, and remember that you can heal from it. If your anger is consuming your life and you know that you want to change, then we highly recommend for you to seek help. You can visit your local priest and partake in Spiritual Direction and Confession. You may also go to your local spiritual advisor, or counselor and ask for guidance on the steps that you can take to help you manage your anger and eventually heal from it.
Remember, there is hope. God loves you, and He wants you to be healed from this. Living a life in a state of constant anger is simply not worth it!