The Price of Anger

Man grabbing head and yelling in frustration

Many of us may be responsible for costs or budgets to one extent or another. Most organisations have responsibilities to ensure good fiscal responsibilities, so that it can be seen there is a good return on investment. However in organisations there can be many ‘hidden’ costs which disrupt an organisation from achieving its goals, and hinder individuals from successfully fulfilling their job to the best of their abilities.  One of these ‘hidden costs’ is most definitely anger. 


Anger can arise in a workplace for a variety of reasons. We can feel that we are being un-heard, un-recognised, un-appreciated, unrewarded, un-respected, unseen unsung, un-valued un-‘anything’ in fact!! 




But there is not just a ‘hidden cost’ to the organisation. There are also real costs to ourselves and those we love.  There are personal health costs, it is a proven fact that long term anger has been linked to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems.  But also tehre are family health costs.  Also unresolved anger is seldom left at the work place. It is a like a heavy load  that is brought home and then if we are not careful deposited upon those that we love.  Like a stone thrown into the pond anger in the workplace can have ripple effects far beyond the point of impact.

So what is the solution to this.  Is anger like the law of gravity that cannot be broken or are there some solution s that can help us from cultivating this n our lives?


Well firstly there is no single magic bullet, every situation is different. However there are some helpful principles that can guide us through such storms of life.




In its simplest form, anger is a spontaneous response towards those who stand in our way. It is primarily a function of the human will that spontaneously arises in us when our will is obstructed.  However anger is also a choice that we make. Anger first arises spontaneously. However we can actively receive it and decide to indulge it, and we usually do. If we do this consistently over time we may even become an angry person…though naturally we would never acknowledge that as we could always justify our acts of anger towards others.


Energy is dedicated to keeping the anger alive: we constantly remind ourselves of how wrongly we have been treated. And when it is allowed to govern our actions, of course, its evil is quickly multiplied in devastating  consequences.  This results   in the replication of anger in the hearts and bodies of everyone it touches. 


However to quote the philosopher Dallas Willard “there is nothing that can be done with anger that cannot be done better without it.” 




In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught “I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment”


Why did Jesus say this?  Well he  is giving us a revelation of the preciousness of human beings. He means to reveal the value of persons.  Rather than seeing them as an enemy we are to see them as one who stands alongside us not beneath us or beyond us.  Part of the solution is a fundamental shift in how we see others.  When I treasure those around me and see them as God’s creatures designed for his eternal purposes, that can fundamentally transform how I respond to them.


Yet sadly we are so often we  blind to how we treat others. How we are the ones who unhear, unrecognise, unappreciate, unreward, unrespect and unvalue those around us thus leading to anger in others.  Therefore we are subject to the same ‘judgement’ as we judge others. 


But the problem is not just caused by our view of others. It is also caused by our view of ourselves.  We let ourselves get angry because we want  base our identity on how others treat us, rather than on the foundation of how God sees us.  When we recognise the potential to receive the deep love and acceptance of Jesus who longs to hear us, recognise us, appreciate us, reward us and value us because of his immense love for us then this surely has to alter our fundamental identity.  The receiving of such a gift means that we are not dependent on receiving these things from others.  And thus rather than living a life of anger when we feel others fail us, we can live a life of peace knowing that God has accepted us freely in Christ – despite of who we are.  This means that  we do not need to go chasing after further ‘accolades’ from others nor do we need to get angry when they are not received. 


Anger in the workplace costs time, energy, health and above all emotional wellbeing.  Why on earth would we want pay such a price for anger in the workplace when there is a free solution available in the person of Jesus…….

James Tetely

James Tetley