Sometimes our tempers get the better of us. It’s all happened to us before, but it’s in our best interest to keep our tempers in check. To find out why, keep reading.
Does it matter if I get angry? Let’s find out how the Bible answers that question. Look in Ecclesiastes 7:9, “Don’t be quick-tempered—that is being a fool.” It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 19:11, “A wise man restrains his anger and overlooks insults. This is to his credit.” And also, “It is better to be slow-tempered than famous; it is better to have self-control than to control an army” (Proverbs 16:32, TLB).
What about if I’m not hurting anybody, just really angry on the inside? John, one of Jesus’ disciples wrote in 1 John 3:15 NKJV, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” That sounds pretty heavy, but it’s because Jesus taught that murder is more than just killing someone, even being angry within your heart against someone is as strong as murder! “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.” (Matthew 5:21-22, NIV).
What will my anger produce? Anger usually causes fighting and trying to be better than others. It’s in the Bible, “For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife” (Proverbs 30:33. NIV). Anger doesn’t produce anything good, only heartache and regret.
What should I do if I’m angry? The Bible says, “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still feeling angry—get over it quickly. For when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26, 27, TLB). If you’re angry at someone, it’s best to confront that person and talk it out. The worst thing to do is to stop communicating.
Do I get over being angry by counting to 10, or by holding my breath until I don’t feel angry anymore? No, for it is impossible to keep from getting angry by ourselves. But there is help promised from God “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God" (Mark 10:27, NIV). “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”(1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV). Doing those counting exercises can help reduce how angry you feel, but only God can take away your anger. Invite him into your heart so that he can help you.
So what should I do when someone makes me angry, or hurts me? Find out in the Bible in 1 Peter 3:9. TLB. “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t snap back at those who say unkind things about you. Instead, pray for God’s help for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it.” When someone makes you angry, if you feel like you might do something regretful, the best thing to do is walk away. Don’t respond in anger. Walk it off, pray, and then you can confront the person who is angering you.
What should I do if I forget to ask God for help and I get angry anyway? Jesus will forgive you if you confess your sin of anger and He will give you a new start. It’s in the Bible, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NIV).
Is it ever ok to be angry? Yes, but be careful of losing your cool. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 4:4, NKJV. “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.” See, it says it’s ok to be angry, but think first, and do not react on your anger. But most importantly, trust God. In the Bible, even God became angry.
What’s the difference? Usually we are angry for selfish reasons, because we do not “get our way” or “get what we want.” However, it’s alright to be angry, when we see someone being mistreated, bullied, or cheated. The question you should think about first and honestly: are you angry for what you want, or angry against sin and how sin hurts others? And then you have to make sure that your reaction is right. Sometimes, that might mean letting things go, but trusting God will take care of your situation will always lighten the load.
Not only will I be hurting myself and others, but who else do I hurt if I can’t control my anger? Ephesians 4:30-32 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” We hurt God when we hurt others with our anger. We need to remember that even when people make us angry, we forgive each other because Christ forgives us every time we make mistakes.