Christians often use this proverb to defuse conflict:
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 NIV
Do you recognize this proverb suggests our choice of words is not the only thing that can stir up anger? Your tone can also stir up anger. Anger is triggered in all kinds of ways. If you feel violated, offended, frustrated, threatened or rejected, you will probably feel anger too.
Physical Signs of Anger
Some physical signs of anger include:
- increased heart rate
- elevated blood pressure
- excess sweating
- unusual shaking of the voice
Anger symptoms vary among individuals and some may not experience any symptoms at all.
The problem of anger can be traced back to the days of Cain and Abel. In Genesis 4, God did not accept Cain’s offering. As a result, he became very angry. First, Cain’s countenance fell, according to Genesis 4:5-6. Secondly, Cain became so violent in his anger that he killed his brother Abel.
God Gives Us the Power to Rule Over Anger
Based on Genesis 4:7, we learn that God was fully aware of Cain’s anger. Note how God used the opportunity to forewarn Cain of the sin anger could cause in his life. God told Cain, “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Because God warned Cain to rule over his sin, we know Cain naturally possessed the power to control the emotions that can lead to sin. If Cain had the power, we have it too!
Does Anger Always Invite Sin?
In an attempt to answer this question, we will look at a few scriptures that speak about the problem of anger. In Proverbs 29:22, the scripture states,
“An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression.”
In James 1:20, James says, “The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
By studying these two biblical texts, you can see that when anger is not controlled, it results in strife. Just like God pointed out to Cain in the book of Genesis, James also recognizes the close relationship between anger and sin. Having acknowledged this relationship, James gives a precaution:
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.” James 1:19
The Apostle Paul echoes this sentiment in Ephesians 4:26: “Be angry and do not sin.”
The Different Degrees of Anger
The children of Israel suffered when they kindled God’s anger in Judges 3:8 and Numbers 32:13.
In Colossians 3:8 KJV, anger and wrath are used as separate terms. “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”
What is the difference between the two? Wrath is a stronger form of anger. Its motive is not just to hurt or bring about displeasure, but to carry out vengeance.
Fury represents another level of anger. Fury is used in Revelation 14:10:
“They, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.”
The punishment from God’s fury produces a greater amount of torment and it shows no mercy.
Key Biblical Counsel & Warfare Strategies For Your VICTORY
Be anxious for nothing.
Anger is often triggered by anxiety, which is triggered by uncertainty. When dealing with uncertainty, your body quickly transitions into a defensive mode when feelings of anger manifest. In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul connects anger and anxiety. He charged the Philippians to make prayer and supplications with thanksgiving before the Lord instead of allowing their bodies to yield to the feeling of anxiety. If you do exactly as Paul suggests, the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Your heart will then have little room to accommodate the spirit of anger.
Seek Christian counseling.
Counseling often works for individuals who struggle with anger-related issues. If you struggle with anger, counseling can be a place to express your feelings without directly confronting the person or situation that causes you anger. Christian counselors listen and provide sound advice through the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit.
Ask the Holy Spirit to deliver you from the spirit of anger.
If you’re easily angered or if you become abusive whenever you’re feeling angry, ask the Lord in prayer to deliver you from your anger problem. If you are uncertain of how to pray, Christian counselors at Battle For Your Life will guide you in strategic prayer and warfare.
Bind up the spirit of anger in spiritual warfare.
For some individuals, it will take more than just a simple prayer to totally get rid of their anger problems. The presence of a spiritual stronghold is sent by the kingdom of darkness to keep you in bondage to the spirit of anger. Unless this stronghold is cast off, the problem of anger will remain.
Meditate daily on scriptures that speak against anger.
Many scriptures are useful for controlling anger. Here are a few examples:
- A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated. Proverbs 14:17
- He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29
- So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
Angela Lowe, MS. Ed., LPC
Angela Lowe is a licensed Professional Counselor, trained Biblical Counselor and certified Holistic Health Coach. Her kingdom mandate is to restore God’s counsel to transform lives, marriages, and churches worldwide.