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AngerWhat does Bible say about overcoming anger?

Paul J. Bucknell

Consequences of anger |Speaking with angry people

Two Kinds of Anger | Six steps to overcome anger |
Handling Angry Children | Understanding Angry Teens
Resolving anger (in Marriages) Ephesians 4:26-27
Problems of Tolerating Anger | Dealing with the Anger of others (Nehemiah 4)

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Anger can by God's grace be overcome!

The Lord calls us to:

Anger must be overcome by the power of God’s Word and Spirit.

After we have stripped away our anger, then we can finally put on love and self control. Trapped by anger

Without stripping out the root cause for anger, it is like putting a coat of paint on a dirty wall. It will peel off in no time.

First strip off the dirt and then you can lay the paint right on the wall, and it will stick.

Afterwards, real healing can come when we affirm our purpose of living to do God's will, to exert self-control and to love one another.

 

Six Biblical Steps to Overcoming Anger

1.) Face the real issues (Gal 5:13-26)

  • Can you admit to having a spirit of anger? Do you really want to live as God desires?
    Do you want self-control?
  • Do you want to love one another?

We must accept the fact of our anger. Ask those around you if they sense a spirit of anger in you. Acknowledgment is the first step of overcoming anger. Why? Our pride does not make it easy to say that we were wrong in our actions, words and judgments.

Do I really want to live out God's love in my life?

Galatians 5:13-14

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only [do] not [turn] your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the [statement], "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.

2. ) Deal with your anger (Jam 1:19-20)

Unresolved anger is always bad. I must not tolerate it.

We must acknowledge that man's anger will not accomplish God's work.

James 1:19-20
[This] you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak [and] slow to anger for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Do remember that our apology does not mean that others did no wrong. Whether they apologize for their wrong or not, it really doesn't matter, we still need to go forward in straightening out our relationships.

handling angry teens

Learn more about
handling angry children!

Anger from the past must be acknowledged and confessed. Amends need to be made. Apologies for silent or open anger must be made. We also need to apologize for not loving them as you should have.

  • Repent from present anger

Anger in the present and future must be cut off. You must recognize man's anger is not going to accomplish the righteousness of God. You will confess that you have been responding to your own selfish desires and have focused on your own will and life, not on God's will and purpose.

3.) Die to self; live by Christ (Galatians 2:20)

I have died to myself. I now live for Jesus Christ.

An open and deliberate decision to not live according to your old life and consciously to allow Christ to live out His life in you is a special and necessary part of deliverance from anger. When this is done, you open yourself to Christ's full work in your life.

There seems to be two aspects to dying to self. There is the initial dedication period which is like starting anew. There is also the regular daily dying to self - a daily morning prayer where we commit ourselves to the Lord. (Read more)

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

4.) Break the stronghold of anger (2 Corinthians 10:3-7 )

May God destroy every last lie of mine!

A stronghold is some hidden sin from our lives that we have given up hope on overcoming. We probably have tried to overcome anger in the past. Failure brings with it a disheartening and final cover up of our sin.

Truth, however, gives strength and confidence to do what is right. Lies block out the light and therefore strip us of any confidence in overcoming a certain problem.

From the verses quoted here and the many places exhorting us to deal gently with people rather than in anger, we are clearly responsible and able through Christ to overcome this stronghold of anger.

What common lies minimize the problem of anger and therefore prevent us from overcoming anger? Where in scripture did people cover up their anger?

"He deserves it."
"I was so hurt by him. I need to get back."
"I can't help it."
"I was always that way."
"My parents were that way."
"It's not too bad."
"My anger is better than before."

Hope comes when we are broken before God over our sin and welcome Him to overcome the sin in our lives. More than often our pride minimizes our anger's wrong and makes exceptions and excuses for our anger.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..."

Other Key Verses

Proverbs 14:29

"He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly."

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

"Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered..."

5.) Replace anger with acts of kindness (Ephesians 4:31)

Anger must go, but I will replace it with fruits of love.

Peace and fullness of love will not be activated unless we replace our angry spirit with a loving spirit. We must not focus on what we should not do but on what we should do. Be practical. Write down a few things you can do for that friend you have wounded.


Regulate your conversation by polite statements and well-intentioned motives. For example, I will not interrupt another. I will wait for them to finish what they are saying before I speak.

Ephesians 4:31

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

6.) Fully deal with each day's anger (Eph 4:26)

Make sure before I go to bed, I deal with my anger.

Unresolved anger turns into wrath. We have a command from the Lord to heighten the importance of settling quarrel before we sleep.

  • Have you and your spouse made a commitment to resolve anger before going to bed?

  • As a parent, have you committed yourself to make peace with your children before they sleep?

Ephesians 4:26

"BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,"

Next? Check other articles below.


Overcoming anger principles - Discipleship 2 levelLearn the principles that hold people back from spiritual growth such as not controlling their anger.