Bible Scriptures On Anger

Anger is part of our human nature. The Bible offers scrpiture for dealing with our anger. We can control anger, instead of letting anger control us.

Anger needs management. What is God's formula for dealing with anger? I did an anger "search" through the Bible and found Proverbs to be ripe with advice on wrath, rage and anger. Proverbs is a very practical book. It applies the feeling to everyday life and situations. I will go there first to see God's view on anger.

The first reference is Proverbs 6:34, "A husband is never angrier than when he is jealous; his revenge knows no limits." The context of this verse is "Warning against Adultery". Verses 20 through 33 are admonitions to men against adultery and use of prostitutes. Verse thirty-four is a warning about the danger posed by the jealous anger of a wronged husband. There's no telling what he'll do!

Proverbs 14

"People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm." "If you stay calm, you are wise, but if you have a hot temper, you only show how stupid you are." (17,29). The terms "stupid" and "fool" in Proverbs refer to sin and error, not mental ability.

Proverbs 15

"A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up." "Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace." (1,18) Proverbs deal with practical advice as opposed to the Psalms, which tackle deeper theological issues.

Proverbs 16

"A wise person will try to keep the king happy; if the king becomes angry, someone may die." "It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities." (14,32) I find it interesting how different verses in the same chapter address similar issues. Proverbs as a whole doesn't tell a story. It is a disjointed collection of "sayings". The first verse talks about not letting the king get mad. The next verse that deals with anger says it's better to have some self-control than to be a ruler.

Proverbs 19

"If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it." "The king's anger is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like welcome rain." "If someone has a hot temper, let him take the consequences. If you get him out of trouble once, you will have to do it again." (11,12,19) I love that last one. We need to learn from our mistakes and deal with the consequences of our actions.

Proverbs 22

This chapter has 30 numbered wise sayings and this is the second: "Don't make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. You might learn their habits and not be able to change." (24,25)

Proverbs 25

"If you cannot control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls, open to attack." (28)

Proverbs 30

My favorite: "If you churn milk, you get butter. If you hit someone's nose, it bleeds. If you stir up anger, you get into trouble." (33)

Wisdom, peace, patience and sensibility are the fruit of controlling our anger and temper. When anger rises within us and we let it control our actions, the results are helplessness, trouble, bad consequences, impatience and arguments. Anger is a natural emotion and the Bible often speaks of God's "righteous" anger. Like all emotions, anger needs to be controlled and used, not the other way around.

Anger can be a barrier to our relationship with God. "So if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God." (Matt. 5: 23,24)

"What human nature does is quite plain"¦People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry and ambitious"¦those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God." (Gal. 5: 19-21) The teaching here is that anger is part of our human nature. The author, Paul, is advising that we submit to the Spirit's nature to control some of our less desirable human attributes, like anger.

There are other verses in the New Testament that repeat the admonitions mentioned above. Anger is a normal human emotion. With God's help it can be controlled. Without God's help, it may control us.

All Scripture Verses from:

Good News Bible, CBS, 1992

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