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"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

Anger and Health

The following was excerpted from How to Win Over DepressionSource of article and link to author's book. Copyright ©1996 by Tim La Haye.1

The physical cost of anger produces a tragic toll in human suffering that fills our hospitals. The human body can stand only so much stress, and nothing produces tension quite like anger. When we are young, our bodies can absorb some of these hostilities, but as we get older we lose that ability. Consequently the body breaks down in some of the vital areas, causing ulcers, high blood pressure, colitis, arthritis, heart trouble, headaches, kidney stones, gallstones, and a host of other illnesses.

One day I visited County Hospital in San Diego to call on a seventy-two-year-old minister hospitalized due to a severe case of glaucoma. He was basically a fine man who loved God and wanted to serve him, but like many Christians, he had never really dealt with his sin of anger. When I arrived in his room I was ill-prepared for the angry tirade that erupted in my direction. He proceeded unceremoniously to downgrade the medical profession in general and the doctors and nurses of County Hospital in particular. After a few moments he literally became livid with rage. Clasping him by the wrist, I shook him and exclaimed, "Paul, if you don't stop this, you're going to kill yourself!" Little did I realize that within two days he would drop dead of a heart attack, though he had never experienced one before and had not been confined to the hospital for that reason.

Several months after the funeral I used his case in a sermon illustration. After the service an ophthalmologist in our church said to me, "Just this week I read in a medical journal that protracted hostility is one of the leading causes of glaucoma."

1 Pages 96-97


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