It Is A Sin
When it comes to talking about Wrath, I believe there are many misconceptions. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines Wrath as “1: strong vengeful anger or indignation OR 2: retributory punishment for an offense or a crime: divine chastisement.”
It is not just anger nor is it something that should be felt often. Wrath is a word resigned for the strongest of anger and in the worst of circumstances. Yet it is common enough to be included in one of the Seven Deadly Sins. As a person who strongly believes that every person struggles with different areas and every person has a unique predisposition to vulnerabilities with these notorious sins, I decided that I would write about Wrath. I have not only seen someone very close to me struggle with an all-encompassing wrath but have also seen a slight (hopefully) disposition to it myself.
Before I delve into my own experiences, I want to clarify something. I am not speaking about anger. Anger, in this context, is entirely different. Anger is a healthy response (in moderation) when something goes wrong. In my experience, it is also a secondary emotion that is usually sparked from fear and insecurities. Parents feel anger when their children do not listen to them because they are trying to teach them valuable lessons. Friends feel anger towards each other after disappointment. The anger is born out of the fear that the other person does not value your friendship as much as you do. There are infinite situations that can cause anger. But that is just it. It is caused by something.
Wrath Is Not Always Seen
Wrath, in my understanding, is ever-present even if not always seen. It is fed and grows with more injustices (real or perceived). It has no room for empathy, mercy or forgiveness. It is terrifying and stunning. And, if it is allowed to go unchecked, it can consume every part of your life. I have seen this. I have looked into the eyes of wrath itself. I saw no love, no recognition, no logic. All I saw was hate. It was a burning anger without cause or provocation.
You would think that wrath’s effects in your life would only make you a mean person. Unfortunately, and I suspect this is true with the other six deadly sins as well, allowing yourself to consumed by Wrath will change how you see and interact with the world in ways you would have never expected. You will view everyone else as against you and treat every interaction with contempt and defensiveness. You will need to subconsciously plan ways to “get justice” against those whom you have perceived to have wronged you. You will lose a sense of appropriate boundaries and self-perception. You will ‘sin’ more in other ways. Lying will become your native language.
I set out to write about Wrath but I think the most important message that I can give to you is that once you have given yourself over to it, everything else spirals out of control. Other ‘sins’ will seem like nothing in comparison to how you feel and your reality will be far removed from what is actually happening.
Wrath destroyed my relationship with someone very close to me. I watched for years and years as they spiralled out of control. On the few occasions that I have contacted that person, they have promised me that it was under control. Yet, their memory of the past is warped to a disturbing point. And when I bring up a memory of even their smallest sin, I see the flash of Wrath return to their eyes.
I would like to tell you that it is something you can come back from, once you have reached that point. But I have never seen it.
We all feel anger at times. But if that anger does not leave, take notice. Face it head on. I know it is a lot easier said than done. I have recently begun to see that I have a lot of anger that I am holding on to. Maybe you are like me. Maybe you are also predisposed. It is hard. Really, really hard. So if you are, do what I do. Try everything you possibly can, every day to work through it. Do not let yourself get to the point of no return. And pray, if that is your way, seek forgiveness and healing of the wrath within you.
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