5 Things the Bible Tells Us about Anger
By Brittany Rust
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. - Proverbs 15:1
Take it from me: anger is not a lovely emotion to have around. For many years I had a major anger stronghold in my life that acted as a dark cloud hovering over my relationships with family, interactions with friends, and frustrations with strangers. It was something so heavy that I felt like I had no control when it wanted its way.
Having struggled with anger for many years I can speak to its destruction and the flip side of a life away from it. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say as well. Here are five things the Bible tells us about anger.
Words can fuel or diffuse anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Words have great power and it’s no different when it comes to anger. Proverbs tells us that a gentle word can turn away wrath and that a harsh one can stir it up. The power you have to fuel or diffuse anger in a tense conversation or situation is both heavy and fragile. You can completely change the dynamic of a situation with one word.
When you’re faced with the chance to fuel or diffuse anger, what words will you choose to use?
The best thing you can do is to stay away from anger in the first place. You probably know your trigger points; if you don’t, find out what they are. Then stay out of situations where you know a trigger can be pulled. Or if you sense anger starting to rise up, excuse yourself from the situation. Whatever this looks like for you, try to separate yourself from anger triggers.
Anger is accounted in the Bible as something expressed by a fool many times. It’s because when we give into anger and we lose rational thought, wisdom also goes out the door. We don’t make wise decisions in our anger and in fact, we can make very poor choices. These moments of outburst can be a poor reflection on us and thus, be a reflection of foolishness.
If you think anger only hurts another person, you’d be wrong. Anger hurts you just as much as anyone else. You get worked up, worry, and stew on what upset you. It then robs you of healing and forgiveness. Don’t let anger grab hold and steal some good part of you.
Not all anger is bad; there is a righteous anger that has a place. Nehemiah experienced it as well as Jesus. There are times when a righteous anger moves us to action in a healthy way. The key to righteous anger is that we not allow it to move us into sin. It’s when our anger causes us to sin that it becomes a bad thing. Take it from someone who struggled with anger for many years--avoid it, walk away, and/or let it go!
Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged version of “10 Things the Bible Tells Us about Anger” by Brittany Rust.