Go Ahead and Feel Those Feelings

Gwen Smith Anger, Betrayal, Blog, Prayer, Relationships 25 Comments

Some dog owners teach their pups to attack, pursue or chase someone by using the command, “Sic ‘em!” This short, sharp prompt gives dogs permission to aggressively pounce on an enemy or targeted individual.

I sensed this type of request from David to God as I read Psalm 109.

My God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
for people who are wicked and deceitful
have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.
In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.
They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship.
(Psalm 109:1-5)

Having been betrayed by people in his community, David was furious with the surrounding “wicked and deceitful men.” (V2) Frankly, the details of what had gone down reads worse than the lyrics of a country song. He’d been “spoken against with lying tongues” (V2), and “attacked without cause” with “words of hatred.” (v3) Frenemies threw around accusations and repaid good with evil and hatred. (v4-5)

The sting of betrayal was fierce and deeply personal.

Always is, right?

In response, David prayed with a harshness that makes me wiggle uncomfortably.

Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
and may his prayers condemn him.
May his days be few;
may another take his place of leadership.
(Psalm 109: 6-8)

And that’s just the beginning of his poignant prayer! The pains and strains of it all made him physically sick and depressed.

But you, Sovereign Lord,
help me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees give way from fasting;
my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they shake their heads.

(Psalm 109:21-25)

He was plumb wrung out, y’all. Wrecked emotionally. Overwhelmed and angry.

Ummm… yeah! I get that!

I imagine we all do.

Essentially, David was shouting from the top of his soul-lungs, “Sic ‘em, God!”

Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
may those who attack me be put to shame,
but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save their lives from those who would condemn them.
(Psalm 109:26-31)

I read his prayer and recognize it’s okay, good even, to rise up against evil.

It’s okay to hate evil and injustice.

I also see that the key place to let my anger rise up is in prayer.

David hashes it out with God. I should too.

I’ve been on the receiving end of betrayal and false, unfair accusations. I occasionally get mean emails. I’ve lost sleep, racked my brain to understand, and have cried out for God to be my Defender.

Psalm 109 reminds me that it’s okay to address wickedness and feel my feelings honestly, as long as I do so first and foremost in an intimate dialogue with my ever-present Lord who’s sovereign, good and loving (v21).


Sovereign Lord,
Even when we act horribly, You act with justice, love, righteousness, mercy and compassion. I bring You the burdens of my heart today, Jesus. You know my pains and strains. You know the people who cause my blood to boil and who have wronged me. Contend with them, Lord. Move as only You can, as my Defender and Deliverer for Your glory. Heal and help my heart to walk in Your strength, dignity and joy today.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.



Read Psalm 109. Does this chapter bring anything to the surface of your heart that needs hashed out with the Lord? If so, spend some time in prayer or write a prayer response on the wall of my blog.

Take this FREE 5-Day Psalm Challenge! It will guide you on a compelling, personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.

Love you guys!

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Comments 25

  1. I needed this, confirmation! It’s been a long year. It’s hard to forgive the people who hurt you without any remorse. I decided today has to be the day it ends. I’m engulfed in my in my thoughts, I can’t seem to go without thinking of the hurt and pain caused. How do you forget?
    I wanted them to hurt like I hurt. I have to move on. I have to let go. I normally skim over your email. Today I was led to it. I will will the battle with my mind and move on as God would have me to.

  2. That was a very great article my name is Lance please pray for me I’m having depression please pray that God would heal me thank you so much and God bless

  3. Thank you Gwen for this word today and at this specific time in my life! I’ve a job that I don’t like because the managers pulled a bait and switch after I had been there 30 days. I’ve a wicked and demonic direct manager who tells lie and starts trouble with everyone on the team. I just had it out with a former colleague and I was in my feelings because this person has been playing games with me! So I called him out on his BS! I’m mentally exhausted and I needed these words of inspiration to get through the long weekend! God bless you!

  4. Thank you for this teaching , I so needed to pray out to God about the injustice I’ve been meted out with from husband, family etc. I feel so encouraged that God used you to relate thru this psalm and David’s cry so that I could cry out to God to ‘sic them” and bring down the evil. I want my healing today!
    God bless you for your teachings.

    1. Bless you sister! Praying for you 🙏🏻
      May all my girlfriends in God be blessed by this teaching for God’s glory and our good! May we celebrate the freedom we have through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross!🎚
      “You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
      Matthew 5:48 (AMP)

      “May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”
      ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭(NLT‬‬)

  5. this word was totally from God! I recently just went through with this issue two days ago. I got into an argument with my friend and she laid her hands on me not once but twice! I was filled with so much anger and hatred. I went to bed angry which the bible warns against. I cried and asked God to take all the anger and unforgiveness but I couldn’t drop it! They asked for forgiveness right away but I just couldn’t let it go. I was soooo mad. I wanted to let them feel bad for what they’ve done. I wanted us to argue again so I could have my turn and hit her. I wanted to say all kinds of cuss words at her. Mind you, I serve God! I was furious. The next day I woke up angry (surprise) I was angry and depressed all day. I missed my friend but I still wanted nothing to do with them. I’m a big grudge holder and it’s evil. I know that if God were to come I’d go straight to hell with all of my anger and bitterness but yet still the fear of God did not consume me and I still did not want to forgive her. They begged for forgiveness but I just couldn’t shake the memory. Eventually, I told them I forgive them, but I still felt angry. I said it but I don’t really feel like I meant it. I woke up today feeling depressed. I told this person I forgive them and tomorrow I’ll be seeing them face-to-face. Part of me wants to hold on to that grudge and see their face and be angry with them, but I know that’s not what Jesus wants. I know He has called me to forgive. Yesterday I kid you not I said, “Lord what do you want me to read in your word?” He said, “Go to John 5:40.” I cried. I know it was God. I even tried to block that friend yesterday but my phone wouldn’t block them for some reason. I kept receiving their messages asking me to forgive them. And no offense, I’m not old so I know how to block people on my phone. It was just not working. Thank you for sharing this scripture of David going to God in prayer when he was upset. God was telling me to do the same thing. Go to Him in prayer no matter how angry you feel. It’s like the hymn goes, “Are you weak and heavy-laden? Take it to the Lord in prayer.” Please pray for me as I see this friend tomorrow. I want to do what’s right. I share this story to encourage others, forgive, and forgive quickly. Don’t go to bed angry like me. Don’t hold on to grudges. It will make you sick. A lot of Christians die of cancer. The truth is that cancer is a seed of unforgiveness that they haven’t gotten rid of. Forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you. Yet, that does not mean that we do not stop loving our brother. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. We go to God with our anger but we don’t stay stuck there. We move on and move forward. We forgive seventy times seven remember? Don’t be like me and not forgive quickly. Unfortunately, I will have to go through another test and have to forgive quickly. I did not pass my test to forgive quickly and stay angry! The very thing I’ve been praying that I would do! Blessings on you all

  6. Wow this spoke to me so deeply today. This is is happening so much at the workplace and among believers, c’mon, we have enough already with COVID19. I sometimes feel like my days drag to work, once upon a time I loved to go into work, but sometimes it can be be a warfare. I’ve been praying and I know the LORD will answer my prayer. Blessings.

  7. Gwen,
    Thank you for this awesome post. I’ve been following you for many years, you are a blessing in my life. This post really resonated with me to my core! I will be praying the prayer all & forever. I am sharing it with others as well. The issues are indeed prevalent in life, especially from those who do not walk with the Lord. But it seems these Covid shutdowns bring out the worst in people & I’m getting it from all sides as they lash out inappropriately with out me being the cause, feel worn out like David!
    Thanks & I pray that you & your family are safe & well.

  8. Gwen! I so needed this today! I have some many issues with my ex husband when it comes to my kids. So many lies and deceit. David’s prayer is so relevant to me! Thank you for sharing this. I have been going to counselling and praying a lot of really honest raw prayers lately.
    Thank you so much. God bless you!

  9. Thank you for your words always, especially today! I really must stop watching the news…my heart is so full of anger ( righteous indignation) at those who are stirring the social unrest. I know the scriptures teaches us that Satan will create this division among us and in God we must trust, but I get so angry at these rioters, liars, disrupters, weak leaders, pawns of evil. My heart breaks for my grandchildren ( 7) as I realize the challenges ahead. They’re in or approaching college. I pray their Christian armor is strong enough to protect them from the slings and arrows they will face. I continue to remind each of them that they were chosen for this very time. “ heal my heart to walk in your strength and dignity and joy, oh Lord!”

  10. I feel this anger when this girl in my kids school keeps attacking them for what seems to be no reason. I get furious. It can ruin my days, some days. They are in jr. high and this girl has been slowly getting worse. This last time I was so furious, I said enough and we prayed for her. For whatever the Lord knows she needs. We try and live our own lives without the toxicity of her words and behaviors and it seems like everywhere we try to go she tries to bother them. It makes me sad and angry that our once very good friends cannot see this behavior and she now lives in their house. We are no longer able to see them. It is a good reminder to continue to pray for whatever she feels is broken in her life and for me to continue to go to God in my anger and frustration. My daughter has “lost” her best friend to this and my son almost lost his but us moms communicated and we were able to work things out with the kids. I would also appreciate prayer with me in this battle to be won by the Lord.

  11. Thank you Gwen for your wise insight regarding anger and “retaliation”. Your devotion really spoke to me personally. I have been unfairly attacked in the past and have prayed to the Lord for resolve. It’s taken years but am seeing it now, slowly. His time, His way of handling situations is always right, even when I want swift justice. I enjoy “girlfriends with God” in my morning quiet time. God bless you my sister.

  12. God is amazing! This is exactly what I needed this morning. I have been struggling with what I do to attract people that wrongfully misuse me! No matter how well I try to treat them. I cry out to God often, because I honestly don’t know what to do differently to avoid it. I’ve tried defending myself, but that brought calamity to my life! I trust God and know he fights for us, but it still hurts. God sent this to my email just for me! Praise your holy name!!!

  13. Good morning. Thank you so very much for this.
    Deep down I realize that I am still angry with my ex husband.
    Thank you for this message, it shows me that I need to take my anger to the Lord.
    Have a blessed day.

  14. Good morning! Thank you Gwen for this timely word!!!
    Praise GOD!
    I had a restless night and woke up with a feeling of anxiety because yesterday at work I had to remind a client and s stylist about covering their nose with the mask!
    I mentioned that some customers had come to me complaining and I reminded everyone in the salon the importance of wearing the mask properly. I then mentioned that if this continues, I was going to close the salon!
    I felt awful later on and I’ve been a mess! So this morning as I read your message, it renewed me!
    I own a hair salon and this COVID-19 has gotten me frantic! I have to trust GOD!

  15. Oh boy! Did that not only reflect on me but it also reflected in action on my two youngest boys as well as me…Not only by community but by my own blood, So called family. Sting? It was and will forever more be numb, invisible, and extremely callused to the point of silence.I broke the cycle but the cycle still remains and the curse is now my cure…

  16. Hi Gwen , you are such a blessing ❤️. Yes I can relate to you getting ugly emails. People can be so mean . But they truly do not know Jesus 🙏 all we can do is pray for them. Remember what Jesus said when they persecute you, they are really persecuting Jesus . And you will receive a reward for standing strong on his word Amen ♥️ God bless you 😘❤️🤗

  17. I truly understand David’s stance i am there where he was. I pray Psalm 35 it also like Psalm 109. At the end you know you are fighting with God’s word. And the word that has come from the mouth of God will never go back to Him void.

  18. Hi Gwen,
    When feeling of distress about people starts to sink in me, i can hear in my heart GOD saying to me,” just be still, it is not your battle, it is My battle.
    Just live for Me. I will be handling everything.” So with this in my heart, i just stay calm in prayer, bringing up all my emotions, feelings, all my anxieties and worries to GOD. Peace in amazing way will then just cover me, my mind & heart, my whole being.

  19. Gwen, this read is very timely for me. Once again, my husband shut down emotionally towards me; untalkative, remains distant. The classic avoider when I’ve done, not done or said something to trigger him. And, because he won’t bring it up to discuss, I try to figure it out. This makes me feel discouraged and sad. Once again, I’m seeking the one and only place where encouragement, hope, joy peace and strength comes from. Our Father, Abba, our defender, our hiding place, our hope. The One who will never leave me, shut me out, or turn His back on me.

    1. I am right there with you in a very similar place. It is so difficult to know how to bridge the distance between hearts when we don’t know what is going on. I am a “fixer” and have finally learned that I have to let God take care of this. This Psalm really spoke to me because I have felt that I don’t have a defender or anyone to speak on my behalf when my husband is not meeting me halfway. But I do, and rather than interrupting Him, I am going to let God handle it this time. I just wish He would move faster!! Maybe send me a text and let me know how things are going! This waiting is hard. *wink* I will keep you in my prayers also. (Gwen’s messages are a real blessing to me.)

  20. Thank you Gwen. Just this morning I was praying about this. Wrongfully accused and judged. My heart crys out to my living God. Praying for healing and forgiveness for my accusers and for my reaction. This psalm gives my situation clarity. Thank you.

  21. Thank you Gwen for highlighting this Psalm today. Guilt feelings can bring us down when we have feelings that raise our blood pressure with anger at someone. This Psalm shows human emotion and its place in prayer. Thanks

  22. Good morning I so needed this psalm today for what I am facing my enemies are many. Those who I thought was my friend has shown their true intentions when I am at my lowest. Thank you for letting me known God has heard my cries and he will save his own.

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