Anger is a strong emotion of displeasure, agitation, and belligerence that is aroused when a person perceives a wrong suffered.
There are varying degrees of anger ranging from mild irritation to uncontrollable violence. Broad categories include: indignation (disgust for an offense or injustice), wrath (fierce anger with a desire to avenge which moves you toward action), fury (powerful anger that compels you towards violence or destruction), and rage (blazing anger that drives you to a loss of self-control, temporary insanity, or unmanageable violence).
While anger is not a sin, how you respond or express these feelings may become sinful. A proper response to anger will lead you to evaluate a circumstance, investigate yourself, understand God’s will, and propel you to take steps toward spiritual health, but if this process breaks down your response to anger can lead to sin and destruction. Understanding why you are angry (Genesis 4:6-7) and how God wants you to respond to your anger (Ephesians 4:25-27) is critical for a healthy relationship with God and healthy relationships with others.
Unhealthy Responses to Anger (D-E-A-D):
- Deny: Denying anger enables sin (in others and yourself) and leads to shallow relationships. Honestly addressing feelings leads to self-awareness, truth, repentance, and healthy relationships. (Psalm 51:6)
- Erupt: Explosive, uncontrolled responses to feelings of anger fuel more destruction, pain, and regret— especially in cherished relationships. Only a fool gives full vent to rage. (Proverbs 29:11, 22)
- Abrupt: Those quick to anger are slow to understand and stir up strife. (James 1:19, Proverbs 14:29)
- Drag out: Long-held anger leads to unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment instead of peace. (Ephesians 4:26, 31-32)
If you wonder if anger is a problem for you, honestly answer the following questions:
- Do you feel irritated and frustrated often?
- Do you often have a lot of battles going on in your mind?
- Do you keep your feelings to yourself?
- Do you avoid conflict and have issues with anxiety or depression?
- Do you often feel like a victim of others’ actions?
- Are people constantly letting you down or do you constantly disappoint yourself?
- Do you focus mostly on the faults of others or hold on to personal injustices?
- Does your anger escalate until it is out of control?
- Do your responses to conflict hurt the ones you love?
- When hurt, are you quick to lash out or want to punish the one who harmed you?
Anger is not a sin, but a God-given emotion.
Anger is a signal that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. We should be angry at sin and injustice because God is just.
• “God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.” (Psalm 7:11)
• “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 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 4:25-27)
• “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)
• “He [Jesus] looked around at them [the Pharisees] in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. (Mark 3:5)
YOUR RESPONSE TO FEELINGS OF ANGER CAN BE SINFUL.
Denying a wrong, becoming quick-tempered, raging, avenging the harm you’ve suffered, and holding onto resentments are all misuses of anger.
• “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
• “anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” (Matthew 5:22)
WHEN FEELING ANGRY, PAUSE TO EVALUATE WHY YOU ARE ANGRY, THEN ASK GOD TO HELP YOU RESPOND BIBLICALLY.
Evaluate the circumstance, examine yourself, know God’s will, and take steps toward spiritual health.
• “but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”” (Genesis 4:5-7)
• “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11)
o Has there been injustice? Has there been a sin against you, another, or God? Are you convicted about your own sin? If so, begin to biblically address sin in you and in others (Matthew 18:15-17).
o Are you hurt? Has someone hurt you or has an old wound been opened? Is your pride wounded, or do you feel shame? Be honest with yourself and God about your pain, recall God’s forgiveness of you, and continue to take steps to forgive those who harmed you (Colossians 3:12-13).
o Are you afraid? Has something stirred up an insecurity? Do you feel threatened? Do you have a relationship, desire, or goal that is in danger? Are you struggling to trust God? If so, confess your fear and lack of trust to God and begin to confront your idols (Psalm 56:3)
o Are you frustrated? Do you have unmet expectations (from life, God, a loved one, or yourself)? Has someone or something failed you? Have you failed? Examine whether your expectations are realistic and address how you’ve sought significance or life apart from God (Psalm 42:11).
REMEMBER THAT GOD IS GOOD, LOVING, JUST, AND IN CONTROL.
He knows your pain, frustration, and fears. He will avenge all sin. He is in control and can bring good out of any circumstance. Release your rights to him. Confess and repent of ways you’ve misused anger. Turn to walk in his purpose for you.
• “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)
• “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
• If you answered yes to 3 or more questions in the Anger Assessment, be honest with yourself and begin to explore how you have denied or misused anger (Proverbs 28:13).
• Ask Christ to heal you (Psalm 147:3). Receive God’s perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). If you do not yet have a personal relationship with Christ, learn more at
• Explore why you struggle with anger. Are past hurts affecting your relationships today? Repent of any anger that you have harbored and begin to reconcile relationships (Colossians 3:8-10).
• Find a bible-teaching church, like 1st Free Will Baptist Church, and begin to establish relationships with Christians who can help you identify and handle your anger according to God’s word (Proverbs 20:18).
• Find a safe place that is Christ-centered, like Restoration Pointe, where you can address anger, examine past pain, realize your identity in Christ, and establish healthy relationships (1 John 1:7).
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