Heart Sweep: Dealing With Anger

Such an important reminder from Jordan Rubin, to check our hearts, and deal with any anger AND unforgiveness/bitterness!

Encourage you to check out the resources from Dr. Paul Hegstrom. He explains how the majority of the time, anger is NOT a primary emotion, but actually a secondary emotion — a front hiding a deeper emotion like rejection or shame. While we need to deal with anger, and not let the sun go down on it (Ephesians 4:26), we need to also address the ROOT issues behind our anger and/or rage …

We all have had the not-so-pleasant experience of personally resembling or being around a Grinch. And while it may not have been the actual character from Dr. Seuss’ famed story, the impact was the same. We quickly learned that the Grinch—otherwise known as a grouch—had great disdain for anything that remotely resembled joy or celebration.

And the cause of this crankiness? A “heart condition” called hard heartedness.

Throughout history, the heart has been viewed as central to the essence of humanity. In fact, ancient Greeks considered the heart to be the seat of one’s identity—synonymous with a person’s soul, his or her emotions and will. As it goes with the condition of one’s heart, so it goes with the condition of his or her disposition.

Hard heartedness is defined as “an absence of concern for the welfare of others,” being “cold-hearted,” or “lacking in feeling; pitiless; cold.” Around the holidays, we see that condition humorously depicted in the green-skinned, animated Grinch. His heart’s so messed up with poisonous emotions that the song lyrics say that his “heart’s an empty hole” and that it’s “ a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots.”

Talk about a hard heart!

The story of the Grinch is entertaining and has a good ending, but the truth is that chronic anger leading to a hardened heart can be deadly. For example, people harboring intense and unrelenting anger have twice the risk for coronary artery disease and three times the risk of a heart attack than those who have the least amount of anger. Some scientists even think that chronic anger is more dangerous to health than smoking or obesity!

Chronic anger can also actually harden the human heart by physically hardening or calcifying a person’s arteries. It’s a textbook condition known as atherosclerosis—a common form of arteriosclerosis in which fatty substances form a deposit of plaque on the inner lining of arterial walls—leading the heart to become hard as stone. Autopsy results on such hardened hearts confirm this.

Therefore, the phrase “hardness of heart” is not just another way of saying that someone is cold-hearted, unfeeling or cruel; hardness of heart is an actual physical state of the heart that is a result of severe atherosclerosis. People with this “hard-heartedness” condition will usually suffer from chest pain as a result of physical exertion (also known as angina). Unfortunately, the person has also probably suffered from years of emotional pain and stress that have taken their toll on the heart and its arteries.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though.

Because we are human, we are going to experience people and circumstances that can lead to anger and bitterness. That’s to be expected. The thing to remember, however, is to do a daily (and sometimes more often) “heart sweep” which can clear out all the anger and emotional clutter that could lead to unhealthy outcomes.

No wonder Father says … “guard your heart”!

Below are some interesting translations of this verse, Proverbs 4:23

New International Version heart(©1984)
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

New Living Translation (©2007)
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

English Standard Version (©2001)
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.

International Standard Version (©2012)
Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

… Create in me a pure heart O YHVH! Psalm 51:10

MANY blessings!

Joe :)

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2 thoughts on “Heart Sweep: Dealing With Anger

  1. Matthew Shaughnesy

    Hi joe. I was curios what is involved in a “heart sweep” how do you perform one?

  2. Hi Matt, thanks for checking out the blog, and for your comment! Sorry! This is a bit difficult to answer … there are a lot of aspects involved, so there isn’t a quick answer to your question. I posted this because I continue to find it amazing how studies are coming out, revealing how connected how physical health is to our emotional health … this is exactly what the Bible teaches, that our physical, spiritual, and emotional health is all inter-connected and inter-related … the post highlights this inter-conneciton, which I wanted to share, to make people more aware of this understanding. I liked how Jordan used the term “heart sweep” — for me personally, the article was a good reminder to me to be more purposeful in dealing with any anger (or other emotions) I may experience during the day — and to address this, on a more “short account” basis — not to leave things, deny my issues, or just “push things under the rug”. The reminder for me was again, that this is a Godly principle — the Father reminds us to deal with our anger … the “how to” in some way is unique, though there are some general guidelines. For one, you need to ask the Father to show you what is the ROOT cause of the anger/emotion — as I mentioned, anger specifically is a secondary emotion — it covers a deeper emotion/hurt — maybe shame, rejection, and so forth. Most often, this ROOT is from our childhood. For example, I tend to feel angry or defensive when someone is maybe honest with me, trying to give me constructive criticism … I feel they are attacking me personally, instead of seeing the REALITY that they are maybe seeing a blind spot I don’t see … to deal with this, I ask the Father to help me see the Truth of the situation — what really is REALITY — and ask for His Grace, that I would remain humble and teachable … again, this is a very short answer — were you able to check out the link to Dr. Hegstrom’s video channel? Maybe watching his videos will help to explain better of what I mean? Hope this helps — MANY blessings!

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