Good Communication: What The Bible Says About Anger
Few emotions are as personally devastating as anger. When you are angry you not only inflict it upon the target of your anger, but also upon yourself. The Bible teaches us that anger is to be avoided, and it even tells us how to alleviate anger. A great verse to begin to understand the effects of anger is found in Proverbs 22:24-25, “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.” By saying that we might learn the ways of an angry man and get ourselves ensnared tells us that anger is damaging to ourselves. The Bible advises us not to associate with people who are often angry, because we don’t want to learn to be like them.
What The Bible Says About Anger:
It’s obvious that we are more inclined to sin when we are angry. Murders and other violent crimes are committed in a heated rage, as well as smaller things like dishonoring your parents, making threats and saying things you don’t mean. The Bible tells us how God feels about anger:
“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9. The Bible tells us here that to be quickly angered is foolish. It is easy to become angry, therefore it takes self-control and wisdom to refrain from it.
“A quick-tempered man does foolish things,” Proverbs 14:17. Once again, we see anger connected to foolishness, and we also see that it is true that we are more inclined to sin and foolishness when we are angry. While striving to be mature and wise, we must remember to avoid anger or we will be called fools.
“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. So, it seems anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy mouths are all connected. It’s also true that anger is often the start, and all the other things follow. I am sure at one point or another we have been mad at someone and done something malicious, or said something nasty about them. The Bible tells us to stay away from these things.
“An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.” Proverbs 29:22. This is another example of how anger is destructive. It is said that when the Bible speaks about something many times we can know how important it is. So far, anger has been connected to foolishness, sinning and now the cause of dissension. And these verses are only a few of the many verses the Bible contains that speak against anger.
“Put an end to your wrath and be no longer bitter; do not give way to angry feeling which is a cause of sin.” Psalm 37:8. Again, anger is called the cause of sin. Don’t let a hot temper cause you to sin. Like the Lord, be slow to anger. (Basic English Version)
Refraining From Anger:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1. The Bible not only cautions us against anger, but gives us good reason to stay away from it as well! There is no point in fighting fire with fire, but rather counter an angry person with a gentle answer. Few people can find the strength to be angry when put up against someone who refuses to continually ignite their fury.
“A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” Proverbs 14:29. The contrast is shown between a man slow to anger and a quick-tempered man. I would rather be accused of great understanding than folly, and all it takes is self-control.
“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” Proverbs 25:21-22. It is usually difficult to be kind to someone you don’t like, especially if he is showing his anger to you already. But there is no better way to make him regret his attitude towards you than by showing kindness to him. Not only is this strategy much more to your own benefit because it doesn’t add fire to his anger, but God promises to reward you for it.
“Better to live in a desert, than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” Proverbs 21:19. I like this verse, it combines truth with a thought that will make you smile. Once again, the Bible tells us that we should not associate with anyone who is quick to anger.
God And Anger:
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” Psalm 145:8. God sets an example for us by being slow to anger. We should also be slow to anger.
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: It is mine to repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19. Let the Lord deal with revenge, for He is justice and He will make the judgements. When someone hurts or dishonors you, then give it to the Lord to deal with and He will take care of it. Besides, why burden yourself with more than you need to?
“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.” Nehemiah 9:17. Yet another verse that tells us that God is slow to anger. And He has more reason to be angry than anyone, with people sinning, turning their backs on Him and so forth. But He is slow to anger, forgiving and full of love. We should strive to be like Him.
In these verses we have seen the foolishness of being quick to anger, we have seen the virtue of avoiding wrath, and we have seen that God is slow to anger, and that He will deal with revenge in His love and justice. We should all look into ourselves and see where we can apply what we see here to our own lives. By avoiding anger, we will find peace in ourselves.
All verses are from the New International Version unless stated otherwise.