Be Angry - Don't Sin: On Anger, Health & Trauma

The Somatic & Spiritual Side of Anger 

Anger is such an important part of health!

Yes - health.

Without the full spectrum of full human emotions - we are not physically healthy. Our Creator designed our emotional and physical experience to be connected to one another.

So - what happens when we repress? What happens when we grow up in homes and environments where the family pushes back or stifles our valid and honest emotional expression?

Emotional Dysregulation, Chronic Illness, High-Functioning Depression & Anxiety Symptoms, and Dysfunctional relationships,  Toxic Shame to name just a few.

What can also happen is a confusing relationship with God where we feel afraid to express ourselves to Him - to wrestle with Him, to pour out our hearts before him.

We can more easily get into abusive relationship dynamics and unhealthy spiritual communities because we are less likely to speak up, express needs, set boundaries and advocate for what is right.

When I work with clients who struggle with allowing anger - they often feel it is unChristian to be angry. It is unforgiving. It is somehow sinful. They feel ashamed of a perfectly valid emotion.

And this can lead to unhealthy, and even abusive dynamics persisting because the impulse of anger and taking action against injustice is suppressed.

But this is not what Scripture teaches us. Scripture teaches us to be angry and sin not.

There is a distinction there which is very important. Be angry? Yes. Don’t Sin.

Can we sin as a result of our anger? Of course. But that does not mean anger is sinful.

We know that we are made in the image of God - God feels a range of emotions - including anger and He expresses it. His anger is kindled over injustice among many other things. 

Jesus flipped over tables in the temple as an expression of His Righteous anger. 

Somatically - anger fuels our fight energy. This is about survival, adrenaline and a production of very powerful energy. This energy helps us to fight our way out of threatening situations and preserve our life. It helps us lift the car of the child in a crisis. It helps us take action.

That is the pure expression of anger - which is part of being made in God’s image.

It brings self protection and the protection of others - protecting what is sacred, what is holy, what is innocent and what is right. It often brings a purging of what is untrue and unjust. Healthy anger is a cleansing force that we all need.

So let’s look at abusive situations and dysfunctional families and societies. In these situations people swallow their anger and attempt to be nice.

Interesting that Scripture actually tells us to be angry. It doesn’t tell us to be nice.

But we feel that we are not allowed to express anger toward those who were abusive and who acted unjustly. We must forgive.

But the thing is - anger is part of the process of forgiveness. We feel the anger. The anger reminds us that it was not okay. It is part of our conscience speaking. Recognizing that we are made in God’s image and when that image is violated by injustice, manipulation or abuse we recognize the breach of dignity that has occurred. We MUST feel it because love rejoices in the truth.

Of course, we deal with the sin-stain. Our emotions are made in the image of God, but sin means that our emotions are not perfect the way that God’s are. Our emotions are not our ULTIMATE authority. We can’t justify sinning and harming others as a result of our emotions. But they are important and valid and they tell us important things about ourselves and the world around us. And we will lose our health if we try to stuff them down - because emotions are biological, spiritual and physical.

Restoring healthy anger after trauma is a life skill and a health skill. It restores a sense of sanity, dignity, healthy boundaries and a sense of empowerment. It involves the physical body just as much as the emotional and spiritual self. 


The physical processing of anger has to do with building capacity in your nervous system to actually FEEL it, express it in non-destructive ways, and care for yourself.  It supports the healing of toxic shame and brings truth into the light of God - whose love rejoices in the truth. 


So now - How do we walk through anger as we heal from trauma?

1. Feel the anger. Remember that it is not sinful to be angry about injustices done to you or others.


  1. Express your anger to safe others who can hear your heart and hold space for the anger - who validate the source of your anger and recognize the injustice.  Allow these safe others to provide Biblical guidance and direction but do not express your anger to people who tell you to stuff it down or rush you to forgive.


  1. Pour out your anger in the presence of God. It is okay to scream. The Holy Spirit understands anger and is the Force most powerful to hold it. The Holy Spirit will take the anger and give you wisdom and direct you in how to best express it to others. The Holy Spirit will give you strength to bring light to the truth where it is needed, set boundaries and advocate for what is right. Remember that Our Lord rejoices in justice and truth. 


  1. Remember that if someone has violated your boundaries or abused you - you have no obligation to be nice. Niceness is not the same a Christian love. You can love and forgive without being nice. In fact in most of these cases it is more loving to be firm, set clear boundaries as it restores a sense of order. God is pleased with this. We are taught to forgive, but forgiveness is not the same as being nice. 


  1. Get support in working through your anger with a skilled practitioner who can validate your anger, help you learn to express it clearly in non-destructive ways, and support you not to allow your anger to consume/destroy you, or destroy future relationships.

Scriptures about anger:

Numbers 11:1-2

Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord and the fire died out.

Mark 11:15-18

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.  And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.

Ephesians 4:25-26
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.  Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,


PS - Did you see The Faithful Trauma Recovery Institute is OPEN for enrolment!  A six month journey combining the spiritual elements of trauma healing with the scientific from a Gospel-Centered Perspective.

This is for coaches/therapists/practitioners who desire to understand how the body heals from trauma at the nervous system level using practical somatic tools and training that is centered in God’s Word. 

Apply here:   

The application includes a consultation with me where you can get your questions answered and ensure this is a right fit for you before you move forward.



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