It’s not uncommon to get angry from time to time, but when anger leads to self-harm, sin, or the harm of others, it’s a problem.
In the Bible, we see God experience and express anger. Anger directed in the right place can often be very helpful. We should be angered by the corruption, violence, sin, and abuse that goes on in the world. It’s a basic emotion, but it’s an emotion that can harm our brains and bodies in addition to harming other people and we’re told to get rid of it.
So, how do you know if your anger is a problem or causing harm?
Answer a few of these questions:
- Has your anger caused you to sin?
- Has your anger interfered with a relationship?
- Is your anger keeping you from experiencing peace? From sleeping? From forgiving someone?
- Is your anger interfering with your work or your ability to focus on a project?
- Do you yell, lash out, or get violent when you get angry?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, we want to give you some Scriptures on anger to help you overcome it God’s way.
You CAN experience freedom from your anger issues.
You may feel like your anger is a knee-jerk reaction and you cannot control it, but in the following Scriptures, you’ll find truth and encouragement to help you manage your anger and maintain self-control.
10 Bible Verses About Anger Issues
Let’s look at anger in the Bible. We’ve scoured Scripture and identified the Bible verses we believe are great sources of support for overcoming anger issues.
But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. – Colossians 3:8
We mentioned that, as Christians, we’re called to rid ourselves of anger. So while it can be natural to experience “righteous” anger, the Bible instructs us to get rid of it. You might think to yourself: My anger doesn’t hurt anyone; what’s the big deal.
Even if you think your anger is not hurting anyone, it is proven that it hurts your body and brain. Regardless of that, however, God commands us to get rid of it. Now that we’ve laid the foundation and know that anger should not be an emotion we hold on to, let’s look at some more Scripture.
For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. – James 1:20
This Scripture is a reminder that anger does not draw towards a righteous life or help anyone be made more like Christ. If you hold on to anger, it’s important to remind yourself that anger is not achieving for you that which God desires and it’s not serving your life. In our feelings of righteousness, we often hold on to anger, but this verse clearly states that anger actually makes us less righteous.
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 affirms that anger itself is not a sin, but that it can be destructive and lead to sin. It also confirms that prolonged anger is not good and dwelling on anger which often leads to days of “the cold shoulder,” bitterness, and unforgiveness is not God’s design. We’re not to end a day or go to sleep still holding on to anger.
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. – Ecclesiastes 7:9
Anger in the Bible is depicted as residing in the laps of fools. Those who are easily provoked and quick to anger are prone to make foolish ways.
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. – Proverbs 16:32
This Scripture esteems patience and self-control two fruits of the Spirit that a person prone to anger often does not exercise.
Do not make friends with a hot tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered. – Proverbs 22:24
Through the Scriptures above, it’s very clear that God calls us to be slow to anger and not to associate with those easily angered. It’s also clear that He does not want us to hold onto our anger for prolonged periods of time in His instruction not to let the sun go down on our anger. We’re to release it within the same day we experience it.
Bible Verses about Overcoming Anger
Now, let’s look at some Scripture that gives insight into just how to release anger. It’s one thing to know what the Bible says about anger, it’s another to have actionable steps from the Bible about how to overcome it.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:12-13
To “put on” is to practice or exercise. To combat anger, practice the opposite of it. Begin practicing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Begin forgiving to a greater measure.
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things, there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
The fruit of the spirit are not duties or merely virtues to possess. They stem from fellowship and communion with God. Spend time in prayer, worship, and Bible reading and watch as your anger is replaced with patience, gentleness, and self-control.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 2:22-24
To overcome anger, it’s important to remember that you are made new in Christ. You must actively change your attitude by dwelling not on your anger or replaying an offence over and over, but by dwelling on the fact that your old self is a thing of the past and God has laid out for you a way to behave and respond in true righteousness and holiness just like Him.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Take captive every angry thought and stop fueling anger by demolishing any justifications or “proof” you have as to why you have a right to feel the way you do.
To recap, what does the Bible say about anger issues?
- You should not hold onto anger for longer than a day
- It resides in the lap of fools
- Do not associate with those easily angered
- Don’t let your anger cause you to sin
- Anger does not lead to a righteous life
- A patient person is better than a warrior and a person with self-control is better than a person who can garner control over an entire city
When you understand that anger does not serve you and is unhealthy to your body, mind, spirit, and relationships, the first step to overcoming it is to spend more time in communion with God through prayer, worship, and Bible reading.
It’s through that time that the fruit of the Spirit will become evident in your life, so that rather than anger, you’ll start to respond with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.
Christian Counseling for Anger Issues
If you find yourself easily angered and falling into destructive patterns in your life and relationships because of it, save this link and return to it again and again when you need God’s support.
A Christian Counselor can also be a great support in helping you understand your anger issues and find the right strategies so you can actively choose to operate from a different place. Contact us to learn more about our Christian Counseling for anger management.
“Storm,” courtesy of Casey Horner, unsplash.com, CC0 License