DEFINITION: Anger is an emotional reaction to what you perceive to be a displeasing situation or event, one where you have been offended, wronged, denied, or been a victim of an injustice.
FACTS ABOUT ANGER:
Anger can be positive. Anger is not always wrong. Some anger is good. Positive anger is motivated by unselfishness and is directed against an injustice or wrong behavior. Jesus demonstrated righteous anger in cleansing the temple (Mark 11:15 and 17) and in His response to the Pharisees and their attitudes towards the healing of an infirm man (Mark 3:5).
Improper anger is sin. Improper anger results in aggressive acts of violence, rage, fury, and wrath. Improper anger is sin.
You need help with your anger when you are so angry that you are out of control; when you suppress anger and redirect it against others or yourself; or when anger results in bitterness, resentment, and hostility.
Mistaken assumptions often lead to anger. You may be angry about something that really didn’t happen the way you think or were told it did. You may also make false assumptions about a person’s motivation for doing something.
Anger comes from within. You cannot blame your anger on someone else because “..out of the overflow of the heart, his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). While you cannot control another´s actions, you do have a choice in your own emotional responses
Anger opens the door to other negative attitudes. Anger opens the door for the enemy to come in with other negative emotions and attitudes. “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-28). A foothold is “a firm or secure position that provides a base for further advancement” (American Heritage Dictionary). If you don´t deal with anger in a timely manner, it opens the door to Satan and leads to other negative emotions like resentment, bitterness, and hated. Uncontrolled anger gives birth to more anger.
Anger can kill. Anger affects respiration, blood pressure, the heart, nervous system, and the muscular system. Anger can kill you or cause you to lose control and kill or injure someone else. Anger is not only an emotional and health issue, it is also a spiritual issue.
DEALING WITH ANGER:
Confess anger as sin. Confess improper anger as sin and ask God to forgive you. Take personal responsibility. Do not try to make other people responsible for your anger, ie, “I have Uncle Harry’s temper.”
Spend time praying regarding your anger. Make your anger a matter of serious prayer, asking God to help you at the start of each new day. Surrender your emotions to the Holy Spirit. Ask God to remove the roots of anger that are growing inside you. Be on guard, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15). Ask God to change your heart because “..out of the overflow of the heart, his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
Analyze the root cause of your anger. What circumstances tend to set you off? Why are you so angry? Is it a learned pattern of response? Destroy the root and kill the fruit.
Practice forgiveness. Unforgiveness is often a root cause anger. Ask God to forgive you, forgive yourself, and then forgive others who have wronged you. As long as you harbor unforgiveness, the person you are angry with is controlling you. Matthew 6:14‑15 states: AFor if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.@ You may need to confront the person you are angry with by using the steps given in Matthew 18:15-17. Whether the other party repents of wrong or not, you will benefit by knowing you did the right thing
Redirect your anger. Positive directed anger can be a useful tool–for example, anger which motivates a person to strive toward good, like getting laws changed to stop child abuse. Positive anger finds ways to correct wrongs for the good of society. The organization MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is an example of what can be done with positive anger that is focused on a purpose. If you find yourself becoming angry, ask God to show you ways that your anger can be channeled for good.
Learn how to communicate. Research has proven that when a person is shouted at, he usually shouts back. With patience and practice, you can calm an angry person with your tone of voice. When someone upsets you, calmly talk to them about how you feel. Learn to express yourself better. Don’t react before you think. Before speaking, ask yourself if what you are going to say will help or hinder. Ask God to help you remain calm. Expend energy to deal with the problem, not to fuel an emotional response.
Walk away. Remove yourself from the situation or problem until you can respond without anger. Choose to walk away: ADo not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way@ (Proverbs 4:14‑15).
Do not maintain friendships with angry people. “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared” (Proverbs 22:24-25).
Fix your mind on God. Fix your mind on God instead of what is causing your anger: “You–God–will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3‑4). Much that you are angry about is temporal with no eternal ramifications.
Think about situations that have caused you anger or that might arouse your anger in the future and pray about how these should be handled.
Immerse yourself in the Word of God. Memorize scriptures concerning anger.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT ANGER:
In your anger do not sin. (Psalm 4:4)
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath. (Psalm 37:8)
A quick-tempered man does foolish things. (Proverbs 14:17)
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. (Proverbs 14:29)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. (Proverbs 15:18)
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared. (Proverbs 22:24-25)
Wise men turn away anger…A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (Proverbs 29:8 and 11)
An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins. (Proverbs 29:22)
For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife. (Proverbs 30:33)
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment…(Matthew 5:22)
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)
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.(Colossians 3:-8)
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (1 Timothy 2:8)
Make every effort to live in peace with all men. (Hebrews 12:14)
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:19-20)
(See also “Emotions” and “Vengeance” in this database.)