But first, what words come to mind when you think of the word “anger”? Maybe things like:
Anger is one of the most difficult emotions to feel and manage. It can grip you and make you feel like you have lost all control. Often it leads to other emotions, like jealousy, bitterness, greed, selfishness. Anger is like the tip of an iceberg. It is what most people see on the surface, but there is usually more emotion that lies beneath the surface. It can cause a lot of damage when not managed well.
The church has traditionally taught (intentionally or unintentionally) that anger is sin, but this article will help you see actual Bible verses about anger to confirm the Bible’s teaching. Because it is real and difficult to control, the Bible talks about it often.
Humans have struggled with it since the Fall. Consider the story of Cain and Abel. Cain was angry with and jealous of his brother Abel, so much so that he murdered him. There are stories of angry kings, angry people groups, and an angry God (yes, God and Jesus both demonstrated anger in Scripture).
People in Scripture murder, destroy, mistreat others, and question God when angry. Anger is not sin. What you do with it can be. Unfortunately, many times in Scripture you see anger being mishandled in sinful ways.
Today, many people have anger issues, and they are not sure what to do with them. They yell or hit or curse or throw. Though this will not be an exhaustive list of anger management skills, it will point to Bible verses about anger. Here are a Bible verses about anger. Not all will be explained, but some will.
Bible Verses about Anger
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. – James 1:19-21
The worst anger reactions come from impulsive, quick decisions made in anger. It does not say here to not ever become angry. It says to be “slow to anger.” If you respond quickly in anger, you probably are not living in the way God wants you to live. Consider your anger reactions.
Do you speak more than listen? Do you react in defensiveness? Are you able to slow down, take a breath, and listen? Listen to what the Holy Spirit says to you, or listen to what another is saying. When you have listened, and when you have taken enough time to carefully consider your response, then respond.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:26-32
In this passage, sinful anger is described as when you go to sleep angry, when foul language comes out of anger, when your anger reactions grieve the Holy Spirit because it comes out in harmful ways, when it lingers long enough to become bitterness, unforgiveness, wrath, harmful words, and yelling. This is when anger is sin.
God wants you to show kindness and compassion, to speak words that lift up instead of tear down, to forgive instead of hold bitterness. These are the opposite of problematic and sinful anger reactions. When you are angry, slow down end consider ways to demonstrate compassion and kindness in your reaction.
Colossians 3:8 is a similar passage. Consider your anger. Do you tend to hold bitterness and struggle to forgive? Are you able to show compassion when angry? Is your anger harmful to others? A counselor can help you work through any bitterness and old hurt you may have so that you can have peace from the toxicity of unforgiveness.
Psalm 27:8-9 speaks of refraining from anger because it leads to evil. Jesus says in Matthew 5 that murder begins in the heart as anger. There are many more examples of anger in Scripture, but what is important to understand is how destructive it can be when you let go of the reins. Anger in charge is dangerous.
Some Verses about Anger from the Book of Proverbs
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. – Proverbs 29:11
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. – Proverbs 15:18
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man. – Proverbs 22:24
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. – Proverbs 14:29
Patience is often described as the opposite of anger. James 1 speaks of something similar. It goes back to Ecclesiastes 7:9 about being slow to become angry. To feel anger is a part of being human and made in the image of God. Righteous anger can lead to social injustices being remedied. It can lead to change in beautiful ways.
When anger is impatient and not calm, wise, or thoughtful, it leads to foolish action. That action can be hurtful to self and others. It is imperative to learn calming techniques to help you slow down and think about what you need to do in anger.
Do you struggle with impatience? Are you someone who has to be right or make a point in every conversation? Do you allow another to share his or her point of view? Do you react quickly? Do you know how to stay calm while angry? If you are unsure of how to calm yourself and gain self-control in this way, talk with a counselor. He or she can teach you how.
Sometimes anger feels justified. A person you trusted abused you. A friend betrayed you. A parent abandoned you. People around you are mistreated. A peer bullied you. Your child lied to you. Someone cut you off in traffic. Your addict sister stole all the money out of your account. You were made to grow up much faster than you should have been.
Anger is simply a feeling, but it can be destructive like a volcano. It is always appropriate for you to read and meditate on these passages of Scripture. Consider truth and spend time there. Let God show you how to have self-control, to be patient and kind and compassionate and forgiving.
Jesus had every right to be angry with mankind, just as you may have. They brutally beat him and killed him on a cross. They betrayed him. They rejected him. They left him to die. They spit on him and mocked him and made his house a house of robbers.
There were moments when he was angry and showed that, but you know how he usually responded? In compassion and grace. He spoke the truth in assertive ways that were meant to build up the audience, but he still did so in love. If you need an example, study his life.
Christian Counseling for Anger Issues
Anger does not have to get the final say in your life. It does not have to win anymore. Decide today to take your anger back. Decide to submit to the words of Scripture instead. Find methods that help you to calm down enough to think about each decision so that your anger no longer is hurtful. For additional help with anger management, visit our counselor directory today to schedule a counseling appointment.
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