Anger is an emotion that we all experience. God gets angry about sin and unrighteousness. The Bible states that Jesus was angry at the merchants selling their wares in the temple. However, anger is a sin when it is for the wrong reasons, is disproportionate to its cause, is out of control, or causes us to react with the intent to harm others or ourselves. Out-of-control anger can lead to violence, hatred, and destruction. This is why we need to study Bible verses about anger.
Learning to manage your anger can keep you from carrying the weight of bitterness. Study Bible verses about anger to see what the effects of anger can do and how to handle volatile situations.
Bible Verses about Anger
Anger is often a natural response to something we feel is wrong. It can also be our first emotion when confronted by our pride or ego. Jealousy is also a breeding ground for anger and betrayal. We get angry when others have said or done horrible things to us. Anger becomes a problem when we are mad for the wrong reasons: pride or jealousy.
People in the Bible also struggled with anger; they struggled with the fury of others, but also the anger within themselves.
And Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. – Genesis 4:4-5, NIV
The Lord warned Cain about his anger and jealousy. Anger is a passionate emotion. God knew that uncontrollable anger could lead to hatred and murder.
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 4:6-7, NIV
Notice how God does not shrug and say, “Well, you are only human. Go ahead, and get mad.” Instead, God tells Cain that he must rule over his anger, meaning that we have control over our anger. We can keep ourselves from losing control and committing a sin. Unfortunately, Cain took his rage and jealousy further and murdered his brother.
David dealt with King Saul’s anger and jealousy toward him more than once. It is no wonder the writer of Psalms warned people about what anger can do.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. – Psalm 37:8-9, NIV
Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman!…As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!” – 1 Samuel 20:30-31, NIV
Saul was so angry that he insulted his son, who was to take his place one day on the throne, and ordered David to be brought before him to be killed. David ran and hid from Saul. Because Saul rejected God resulting in anger and jealousy, God completely removed Saul as king and made David king of Israel.
Although Saul lashed out at David repeatedly, it should be noted that David did not confront Saul immediately. This shepherd boy was known to have killed a lion and a bear. David had God’s favor, and he had combat skills that he had learned tending his father’s sheep. He had slain Goliath, the great giant. Yet, when King Saul threw a spear at him, David did not try to kill the king.
Saul tried to pin him [David] to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape. – 1 Samuel 19:10, NIV
David was upset, possibly felt betrayed, and had to have harbored some form of anger at Saul’s murder attempts. Had David reacted out of anger, even righteous anger, in this case, he might have forfeited the throne. God would be David’s defender and deliverer.
When confronted with someone or something that makes you angry, avoid saying things you may regret later. Keep your head about yourself. If you need to leave the room or location for a while, do that until your anger has had some time to dissipate.
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. – James 3:5-6, NIV
If you are angry with someone, calm yourself before making amends with the person. If possible, try to fix any damage done in the relationship. It is better to stamp out your ego and pride and admit when you are wrong.
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell…First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:21-23, NIV
Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. – Proverbs 11:29, NIV
How can you keep anger from controlling your actions? Speak and act out of love and kindness. You may need to separate yourself from the people or situation until you have control over yourself, but then react in love.
It [love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:5-7, NIV
Use the examples God placed in His Word of how to manage anger. Study what Jesus had to say while reading Bible verses about anger.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. – Psalm 103:8-10, NIV
If you need help with anger management, seek the counsel of a Christian therapist or counselor. Anger is a passionate emotion and is as strong as love. But love conquers all. Sometimes we must look past the offense of others so that we remain in a healthy mental place.
Just as God warned Cain to get a grip on his anger, we should take God’s warning for ourselves. Take control of your anger and emotions. Practice self-discipline and self-control, and get help when you need it.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13, NIV
Is Anger Controlling You?
After reading these Bible verses about anger, do you believe anger is controlling you? Are you having outbursts, snapping at loved ones, or lashing out physically? A mental health care professional can work with you in anger management and teach you new coping mechanisms. Call our office today to connect to a Christian counselor.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. – Ephesians 4:26, NIV
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