What Does the Bible Say About Anger?
Anger, on its own, is neither sinful nor virtuous. The concept of anger could be a little vague to Christians because the Bible teaches us to not act on rage, yet shows multiple incidences of angry, Godly characters—even Jesus. This is because anger is a tool, not a smith. The person inflicted with anger could either choose to take rightful action or vengeful action. What we see in Matthew 21:12 is a depiction of Jesus’ righteous anger. Out of their extreme disregard for God, the people in the temple took advantage of their captive audience and turned the temple into a greedy marketplace. Out of righteous anger, Jesus drove them out and overturned the tables and chairs of the various salesmen. To better define the term, “righteous anger” is simply heightened sadness and disappointment at a tragic or ungodly event, such as terrorism, blasphemy, and causes of extreme poverty.
As Christians, it is okay to be angry because of injustice. Feeling angry is not “bad.” What you choose to do with the anger will determine its effect. If you’re angry because of jealously, entitlement, or other insecurities, be sure to not turn your anger into a weapon. That’s when it becomes sinful. Take a look at these 10 relevant passages on the topic of anger to help you make the right decisions in the heat of the moment:
1. Ephesians 4:26-27 – “And don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
2. Ephesians 4:31 – “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.”
3. Proverbs 29:11 – “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”
4. James 1:9 – “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
5. Colossians 3:8 – “But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.”
6. Proverbs 16:32 – “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.”
7. Psalm 37:8 – “Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper--it only leads to harm.”
8. Proverbs 14:29 – “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”
9. Proverbs 15:1 – “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”
10. Romans 12:19 – “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the LORD.”
From these scriptures, it is clear that God does not want us to act sinful out of anger at all, but rather leave the vengeance to Him. Although it is extremely difficult to keep our cool when there are so many injustices going on, refrain from using your anger as a weapon to destroy. Instead, find peace in the comfort of God’s promise to make things right for you.