Learning to control anger can feel like the most difficult thing to do, depending mostly on the situation you face. You can count to ten or take a deep breath. Yet some people are not able to do this, and that anger could lead to harsh words or actions. Are you a slow burner or do you have a short fuse? There are plenty of Bible verses about how to control anger in Scripture. Below are some that will convict you as well as give you hope that, through God’s grace, it is possible to control anger.
Bible Verses about How to Control Anger
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. – Proverbs 29:11, NIV
This verse is translated in various ways in certain Bibles, but it is the juxtaposition of anger and calm that is most important here. A fool gives vent to his anger; the wise man can keep control with God’s help. While there might be a rightful place for anger to be fully expressed, often it is better to keep silent and keep a tight rein on your tongue.
Careless venting to whoever may listen is certainly not appropriate as a godly way of self-expression. If you are serious about learning how to control anger, you can address this habit if it is present in your life.
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. – Proverbs 14:29, NIV
In short, without understanding a situation, your impatience will lead you into making silly mistakes. Colossians 3:8 implores believers to put away anger and wrath. Turn to God in prayer instead. James counsels readers to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19-21, NIV).
This is how to control anger in the Bible. While in and of ourselves it is very difficult to be patient, if we are saved, we have the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us and can ask God to help us to exhibit it.
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered. – Proverbs 22:24, NIV
The verse warns us that associating with angry people could lead us down the same path of anger and regret. This applies to both our personal and professional dealings. We must avoid getting too entwined with them since their bad temper corrupts us and leads us to act similarly.
When you lean into your relationship with God and trust his guidance, you will also gain wisdom to discern which friendships are not helping you in your walk with Christ. By discerning wisely, you will also gain a better grasp on how to control anger.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29, NIV
Paul shows here that we are accountable for the words we utter. We must speak in a way that is beneficial to those listening and appropriate to the situation. The aim is to show grace to those who listen to our words.
We must demonstrate a godly and Christ-like attitude of love and forgiveness toward others, particularly if they are not Christians. How to control anger as demonstrated in the Bible will also be a witness to others in terms of how we have been changed and how much we have taken on the “new self” offered in Christ.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. – Psalm 86:15, NIV
We might think God is out to punish us because of our faults and the bad choices we have made. Although these are negative aspects of our lives, the Lord loves us more than we could ever imagine and acts to redeem and restore us. He knows our weaknesses and shortcomings and recognizes the need for us to make fresh starts.
You can make a fresh start today. In knowing how to control anger according to such verses in the Bible and meditating on them in triggering moments, with God’s help you will become more and more like Christ in your character.
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. – Ecclesiastes 7:9, NIV
This is a warning to us not to fly into a rage or harbor resentment over some incident, either at home or at work. It indicates a lack of self-control, exposes weak character traits, and is not godly in attitude. We need to refrain from anger and instead honor God in our hearts.
Sinful anger needs to be rejected; it has caused divorces, job losses, broken relationships, and so many other problems. Learning to control anger is important, as words spoken in haste cannot be taken back.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. – Ephesians 4:31, NIV
The ESV version of this verse uses the words “put away,” which clearly states we need to get rid of all unhealthy behavior and guilty feelings after angry incidents. The tongue can be compelling in praise but devastating when it comes to angry criticism.
Paul notes these common character flaws are all linked to anger: bitterness, rage, brawling, slander, and malice. All can be put away or gotten rid of with God’s grace.
Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother, or judges him, speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. – James 4:11, NIV
James says that God is the only one able to save and destroy. Criticizing and judging each other means criticizing and judging God’s law. It is through His grace we are saved, so, therefore, do not live by worldly wisdom.
Discord results when we do not control anger. When we don’t, we are essentially nullifying the new covenant which Jesus brought through the sacrifice of his death on the cross. This verse shows us how serious these sins are in God’s eyes.
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. – 1 Timothy 2:8, NIV
Paul is exhorting the men to pray and to be in unity when they did so. He was aware of the bickering and anger so prevalent in the early churches, just as it often is today. Paul showed them that knowing how to control anger was critical so that they could worship God appropriately. There is no point in coming to God while we are harboring anger toward our neighbors. God demands that we forgive fully and come to him with hearts that have repented of the sin in our lives.
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23, NIV
The fruit of the Spirit is available to all Christians and is full of characteristics that are the exact opposite of anger. It can seem impossible to offer all these things, especially when we live in a broken world full of sinners. But through asking the Holy Spirit to bear these fruits in us, we will start to see small changes in how we view other people and the world around us.
Meditating on Scripture gives us a very clear indication of how to control anger. By ourselves, we are powerless to change. But as saved and redeemed people, we have new hearts that can close the door on toxic emotions that hurt and destroy rather than build up and show love.
If you need more help learning how to control anger, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Christian counselor for guidance. A counselor will help you understand the roots of your anger so you can make behavioral changes today. Get in touch with us to receive the compassionate help you need
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