What The Bible Says About Anger: We all feel angry sometimes. It’s a normal human feeling triggered by things like frustration, hurt, unfairness, or threats. Anger can be positive, pushing us to change bad things or telling us something’s wrong. However, if we can’t control our anger, it can hurt our relationships, careers, and overall happiness.
In this blog post, we will explore the Bible’s perspective on anger, and learn how to manage it in a way that is both constructive and beneficial. Let’s dive in.
What is The Bible’s Perspective on Anger?
The Bible has so much to say about anger. It will interest you to know that the word “anger” appears in the Bible more that two hundred times! This means that God knows we actually get angry, and He wants us to know how to deal with our emotions in a healthy way. Anger is a normal human emotion, and it is actually created by God. In Exodus 32:7-10, we see that even God gets angry when people sin.
This helps us to see that anger is not necessarily a bad thing; sometimes it can be a righteous response to evil. But we also know that anger can lead to problems if it’s not properly managed. The Bible acknowledges the potential for both positive and negative aspects of anger. It teaches that anger can be a legitimate emotion, but that it should be expressed in a healthy way. The Bible also teaches that we should forgive others, even when they have wronged us, in order to prevent anger from consuming us.
The Bible gives us some insights on how to control our anger;
First off, Proverbs 29:11 says “a fool gives full vent to his spirit,” meaning that someone who doesn’t know how to control their temper will often say or do things they regret later on.
Secondly, in Ephesians 4:26-27, we are told “be angry but do not sin.” This means that we can express our anger in positive ways, without letting it turn into hatred or revenge.
Finally, James 1:19-20 tells us to be “slow to anger,” which means that we should think before we react in moments of frustration or rage.
If you find yourself struggling with anger, be rest assured that you’re not alone. What to do is to first admit that you have a problem and need help. While attempting to control your anger, keep in mind that the ultimate goal is not to eliminate anger altogether; rather, it’s to develop healthy coping mechanisms for expressing anger that prevent it from damaging your relationships or causing harm to others.
Now, let’s delve into the heart of this blog post: the ten Biblical principles for overcoming anger.
10 Biblical Principles for Controlling Anger
Principle #1 – Seek God’s Guidance: Pray for wisdom and strength to manage anger effectively
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
When confronted with anger, turn to God for guidance and strength. Pray for wisdom to navigate the situation with composure and understanding. Seek God’s help in taming your emotions and responding with love rather than anger.
Principle #2 – Practice Self-Control: Exercise discipline and restraint in the face of anger triggers
“The one who controls his temper is like a fortified city; there is no breaching it.” (Proverbs 16:32)
Anger often stems from a lack of self-control. Cultivate self-discipline by recognizing your anger triggers and developing strategies to manage them. Practice mindfulness techniques to stay calm and centered in the face of provocation.
Principle #3 – Choose Kindness over Anger: Respond to others with compassion and understanding
“Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult. Instead, pay back evil with blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)
Anger often leads to retaliation and hurtful words. Choose kindness instead. Respond to anger with compassion and understanding. Seek to empathize with others’ perspectives, even if you disagree.
Principle #4 – Forgive Others: Let go of resentment and bitterness to cultivate inner peace
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Holding onto resentment and bitterness only fuels anger. Forgiveness is a powerful tool for releasing anger and cultivating inner peace. Choose to forgive others, not for their sake, but for your own serenity.
Principle #5 – Avoid Revenge: Refrain from seeking retribution, as it fuels the cycle of anger
“Do not say, ‘I’ll pay them back for what they did to me!’ Instead, leave it to the Lord to handle.” (Romans 12:19)
Revenge only perpetuates the cycle of anger and hurt. Instead of seeking retribution, trust in God’s justice. Let go of the desire to get even and focus on healing and moving forward.
Principle #6 – Seek Support: Surround yourself with understanding and supportive individuals
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
Surround yourself with understanding and supportive individuals who can encourage you in your journey to overcome anger. Seek counsel from wise and compassionate friends, family members, or mentors.
Principle #7 – Address Underlying Issues: Identify and address the root causes of anger
“Examine your heart and see what is going on there.” (Psalm 139:23)
Anger often stems from unresolved issues or underlying hurts. Take time for introspection to identify the root causes of your anger. Seek professional help if needed to address deep-seated emotional issues.
Principle #8 – Learn the Virtue of Listening more than speaking.
“My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent among you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.“ (James 1:19-20)
Principle #9 – Develop the fruits of the Spirit by daily reading the Bible about controlling anger and praying in the Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23) The fruits of the Spirit, are godly character traits cultivated in us by the help of the Holy Spirit as we pray and study the Word of God.
Principle #10 – Seek Professional Help: Consult with a pastor, therapist or counselor if needed on anger management tips
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearken unto counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15)
If anger is severely impacting your life, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A pastor, therapist or counselor can provide personalized guidance and support in developing effective anger management strategies.
Remember, overcoming anger is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way. With God’s guidance and your commitment to change, you can transform anger into a force for good in your life.
In the next section, we shall consider the types of anger and their differences.
What Are The Two Types of Anger in the Bible?
What the Bible says about anger helps us to recognize the different types of anger, and how to distinguish them. They are;
What is the distinction between righteous and sinful anger
Righteous anger is a justifiable response to wrongdoing, a sign of moral indignation towards injustice. When fueled by love, righteousness, and a desire for justice, it motivates us to stand up for what is right, to protect the vulnerable, and to challenge wrongdoing.
Sinful anger, on the other hand, is self-serving, rooted in resentment, bitterness, and a desire for vengeance. It leads to destructive behaviors, harms relationships, and obstructs the pursuit of justice.
Examples of Sinful Anger in the Bible
The Bible provides numerous examples of sinful anger, highlighting its destructive potential and the importance of managing it effectively. Here are a few notable instances:
Cain’s Anger: In Genesis 4, Cain’s anger towards his brother Abel escalates to murder, demonstrating the devastating consequences of uncontrolled rage.
Moses’ Anger: In Exodus 32, Moses’ anger at the Israelites’ idolatry leads him to break the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, illustrating how anger can cloud judgment and lead to rash actions.
Jonah’s Anger: In the book of Jonah, Jonah’s anger towards God for sparing the city of Nineveh from destruction reveals the potential for anger to distort our perspective and hinder our willingness to accept God’s plans.
Example of Righteous Anger in the Bible
When Jesus found the sacred Temple turned into a marketplace, his righteous anger erupted. He overturned the tables of the money changers, scattered the coins, and drove out the animals for sacrifice. His actions were not fueled by hatred but by love for God’s house, a desire to restore its sacred purpose. His demonstration of authority cleansed the Temple, sending a clear message against exploitation. (Matthew 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46, and John 2:13-17.)
Haven considered the two types of anger in the Bible let’s now see the consequences of anger.
As we conclude our exploration of anger management and its relationship to biblical wisdom, let us reflect on key takeaways and emphasize the power of divine guidance in overcoming anger.
The Bible offers timeless wisdom and practical guidance for overcoming anger. It helps us understand the difference between righteous and sinful anger, and it provides strategies for managing anger effectively.
Overcoming anger is a journey, but it is possible. With God’s help, we can break free from anger’s grip and embrace a life of peace, understanding, and compassion.
Remember, God is with you in this journey. Embrace the Bible’s transforming power and experience the freedom that comes from a life transformed by God’s love and grace.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Bible say about a calm response?
How do I give my anger to God?
How do you pray to calm when angry?
What are the 4 root causes of anger?
- Unresolved childhood trauma.
- Repressed or unmet needs.
- Unrealistic expectations from people/situations.
- Coping unhealthily with stress, anxiety, etc.