Anger, Bitterness, & Addiction

Many of you are probably looking at the title and saying, “Joe, don’t go there. How does this relate to Legacy Planning?” I have talked to a lot of couples through our planning process and one of the most important goals is to build strong God-centered families. Our legacy is not just about money. It is everything that we leave behind including our attitudes, behavior, and habits. Children are amazingly perceptive at any age and they may vow not to do or be like their parents, but they are strongly influenced by the good and the bad of each parent whether they want to admit that or not. This subject has far reaching consequences to the family dynamic and I refuse to avoid or discount the importance of facing it as a Christian Family Counselor.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret, (it leads) only to evildoing. Psalm 37:8

There is a plethora of Narcissism in this country and it is starting earlier and earlier. Narcissism is cancer to a marriage and ruins the children of that marriage. They become paralyzed by the parents and become merely an extension of the parents, not knowing or being permitted to find their own way. Anger is a close ally of Narcissism. A Narcissist has a difficult time taking responsibility for their actions and will avoid at all costs taking the blame for anything. Their common emotional reaction is anger and intimidation.

Anger…we all have it at times, but there are few times when it is appropriate. Over the years, I have noticed a strong correlation between anger and addiction. (It is bad enough the Narcissist is always angry!) Addicted people appear to be angry about their past, their present, their loss of control, the relationships in their lives, and life in general. Even if the angry person vents loudly at others, it is never enough. They do not know what to do with the anger so they deaden it with a sedative, be it pornography, drugs, alcohol, food, overwork, slander, fantasy, obsessive thinking, reading… and the list goes on. A drunken Irishman who, being asked why he was always drunk, said, “It is the quickest way out of Ireland that I know!” The problem with addiction is the person remains at the age that they started. So if someone started drinking excessively when a teenager and still is, they have never grown up. I don’t have to tell many of you this, because you may live with a person prone to anger and addiction.

Consider the children of this angry parent. The parent may appear very normal in social situations and be successful in business or some other career, but at home, they have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. This is clearly a horrible environment for children and creates emotional scars that are difficult to get beyond. If the parent is a professing Christian, the children’s view of Christianity is damaged and their model of parenting is skewed.

Anger is mentioned 266 times in the Bible, is the fall of many and the cause of untold suffering and impulsive destructive behaviors. The person free from anger issues is a giant. Proverbs 16:32, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” On the other hand, the one controlled by anger will need to be rescued over and over again from addiction.


How easy is it to be angry? What is the cost of anger?

  1. We need to honor God instead of acting as if we have no God, with the tiredness and anger that accompany playing God. His grace is all that is needed, but we need to ask.
  2. Whether a situation is from the past or present we must give it to God and refuse to carry it. Whatever damage we have done must be confessed and know that God forgives…and forgets.
  3. Stop trusting the addiction. You may need help to get rid of it, but you are hiding not only from self but all those that you say you love. They know it and have no power to help you change.
  4. We need to confess that our “chooser” (ability to choose) is broken.
  5. When the draw to the addiction comes, call on the Lord for deliverance. God’s grace is enough! More on this in future blogs.
  6. Be honest!! If we actually like the addiction or have deceived ourselves that there is nothing wrong with it, admit it to God. If we love the addiction more than God, admit it. Now give it to God and allow Him to own it. You will be amazed at what He can do.


I am clearly not done with this topic. This is the first of many blogs on the many nuances of addiction, bitterness, and the effects that grace has on all of them. Stay tuned, this could get interesting. 


Download The Master’s Plan!

This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come.  It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.

joe-sturnioloBy Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.

One Comment

  1. darlene Says :
    Posted on March 1, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Good start…looking forward to the continuing blogs on this subject…one day ask me about how I avoid bitterness..anger (esp with God)…thank u..dwa

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