5 Biblical Tips to Deal with Anger
Contributor: T. Dozier-Grady
“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 (NIV)
While I was attending college, back in September 2019, a person made me upset. We were a part of the undergraduate psychology executive board. He told the executive board that he lied to some people to get money from them to help raise money for another club to which he was a part. How could he do that? I was so angry at the words he spoke. If I did not have the Holy Spirit help control my tongue, who knows how the situation would have turned out. We have experienced anger at one point in time. “Anger on its own is not a sin but releasing hastily or at the wrong time can be a destructive force.” (Bishop Rosie O’neal) I could have hurt his feelings, broke into an argument or worse, a fight. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit guided my emotions and led me to express how I felt without being hostile towards what he said.
Bishop O’neal has defined anger as an emotion characterized by antagonism, which is the expression of opposition or hostility. It is when you have this emotion that is causing you to express hostility towards someone or something you believe has done you wrong. During the sermon on Victory Over Anger Part 1, Bishop asked us to think about these questions before we respond:
- How are you feeling?
- What do you really believe (what triggered it)?
- What do you perceive is happening (assumptions)?
- What are you focusing on?
There are going to be situations and people that will get you angry. We do not want to miss out on the blessings because we could not keep our temper down and our mouths shut. Moses lost his temper when he saw the Egyptian beating the Hebrew slave, and he killed the Egyptian. Moses was punished for forty years over his anger. We do not want our anger to put ourselves and the people around us back a generation. So, what can we do to handle our anger properly?
Jesus handled his anger by:
- withdrawing Himself,
- practicing relaxation exercises,
- confronting the situation,
- sometimes, asking a question to see what people were thinking, and
- forgiving and praying for people.
Based on Jesus’ example, we should:
- consider where our anger is coming from and why we are angry.
- learn how to calm down. Judge something more important than the moment. Become reflective.
- get a calculated response.
- communicate clearly. Praying can help diffuse the anger.
- concede to the consequences.
Remember, anger, when not controlled, is dangerous, and it can set off a chain reaction. God will give you His spirit to calm down and heal you if you ask Him for help.
I would recommend listening to the series, Victory Over Anger, and one of the latest sermons, Handling Anger Properly.