Can we be honest for a minute? Life isn’t perfect, and we’re not happy all the time. That’s not surprising to any of us but, for some reason, it can be difficult for us to talk about it. But there are times in all of our lives when we feel angry. Anger is a core emotion we all feel to varying degrees throughout life. Someone’s anger has caused us to be mistreated, and our anger has caused us to mistreat others.
What does God have to say about us feeling angry? The Bible is a message of God’s great love for us, and God talks in scripture about anger. How can the Bible help us when we’re mad?
It isn’t a sin to feel anger. It is right to be angry when we see injustices and evil in the world. We feel anger when we see things that are an offense to God. These emotions can prompt us toward action to share God’s love and advance His purposes in the world.
But we cannot allow our anger to grow into bitterness, hate, or malice toward others. Uncontrolled anger can produce conflicts and choices that will damage our relationship with God, with others, and will damage ourselves.
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Bible Verses Warn Us About Temper
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.– Proverbs 14:29
This scripture about temper shows the difference between being patient or easily angered. Patience and self-control in situations can lead to greater understanding, which can lead to improved relationships. However, responding with a quick temper gives the opposite result and leads us to less understanding and more strained relationships.
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.– Proverbs 15:18
Again, this Bible verse says anger can create and escalate conflict and patiences will de-escalate conflict. This doesn’t mean we need to be passive pushovers when disagreements happen. Rather, we need to show patience, self-control, and take the time to gain understanding.
Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper — it only leads to harm.– Psalm 37:8 (NLT)
The Bible is pretty clear on this one! We tend get angry when we are frustrated, fearful, or in pain. These are all valid feelings that need to be addressed and cared for. But, as this Bible verse states, losing our temper will only lead to harm. Instead, we need to bring our pain to Jesus.
Bible Verses About Anger Taking Root in our Hearts
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.– Ephesians 4:26-27
This verse shows that anger itself is not a sin, but it can lead us to sin if we allow it to remain too long in our lives. What is a “foothold?” One definition is: “A firm or secure position that provides a base for further advancement.” A secure position that provides further advancement. We certainly do not want evil to securely advance in our lives!
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.– James 4:1-2
As humans, we are selfish. We want what we don’t have. Whether it’s jealousy, disappointment, frustration, un-forgiveness — all are desires that battle within us and can cause us to lash out at others around us. Take some time to ask yourself: “What desires battle within me that cause me to argue or get angry in my relationships?” When you answer that question, ask God to help you.
Scripture Tells Us to Release Anger and Pursue Peace
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.– Ephesians 4:31-32
The Bible doesn’t just tell us what we should remove from our lives. God doesn’t just want to take things away and leave us empty. Just the opposite! God wants our lives to be filled with all the good things He has for us! When we rid ourselves of bitterness and rage, we can fill our lives with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.– Colossians 3:15
God’s peace is larger, greater, and more complete than we can imagine. God doesn’t want us to have just a portion of His peace in our hearts. He wants His peace to rule in our hearts! Every decision and every relationship can be ruled by peace. Peace is the authority, and peace has control. This is what God desires for us and calls us to live.
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.– 2 Timothy 2:22
When someone “flees,” they are running away. When they “pursue,” they are running toward something. Flee from hate, turn your back from it, fix your eyes forward, and chase after righteousness, faith, love, peace, and a pure heart. In other words, pursue Jesus and your relationship with Him.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.– James 1:19-20
When we’re angry, it’s easy to get stuck in our own thoughts and feelings. We’re focused on the next point in our argument or some quick comeback. But this Bible verse about being angry tells us to do the opposite. We need to be quick to listen, not quick to respond. We need to be slow to speak, not slow to understand. This helps everyone have space to connect and consider the other person. We may think we have a real zinger that will “win” the argument, but our anger won’t produce what God desires for us.
God is Gracious
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.– Psalm 103:8
God is slow to anger. He is abundantly patient with us through all our mistakes. Isn’t that great news?! Not only that, but God is our ultimate source of all compassion and grace. Not only does He show us compassion and grace, but He also gives us the ability to extend compassion and grace to others. It is God’ love that overflows in our lives to those around us.
Controlling our anger means letting love, as always, take the lead. Remember that everyone involved, no matter how difficult they are, is someone that God loves and Jesus died for.
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