After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.
Top ? #11 How Can I Control My Anger?
Answer: We control anger by cultivating the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, trusting God in all circumstances, and learning techniques to constructively deal with our emotions.
Anger is a natural emotion that can be expressed in positive ways. However, when it is not controlled, anger can be a destructive and negative force that destroys lives and ruins relationships.
Anger, in and of itself is not sin. God is described often as being angered by mankind’s disobedience. In some ways, anger can be a very positive emotion. When we are angry at the right things and express it in the correct way it can motivate us to take action against evil and injustice. However, anger becomes sinful when it is dealt with in the wrong way and is expressed inappropriately. If a person keeps their anger bottled up inside it can turn into resentment, hatred and discontent which can eat away at one’s soul and make him bitter and spiteful. Likewise if anger is expressed too overtly it can result in fits of rage that can be characterized by saying harmful words and violent behavior.
The first description of destructive anger in the Bible is the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. When God did not accept his offering Cain became angry. Cain was so angry that he murdered his brother. We see a principle here that the most common source of destructive anger is when it is selfishly motivated. This is an example of the tremendous power that anger has to be expressed in negative ways. God gives a warning to Cain in Genesis 4:6-7 to not allow his anger to control him and cause him to sin.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
Galatians 5:20 describes one of the acts of the flesh (sinful nature, NIV) as “fits of rage.” In contrast, verse 23 describes the fruit of the Spirit as including “gentleness and self-control.” When we have the Holy Spirit within us He gives the power to overcome those expressions of anger that are negative and destructive.
We are given further instruction about how to handle our anger in Ephesians 4:26-27; “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
This passage instructs us to resolve our feelings of anger quickly. We are not to allow that anger to build up inside of us so that it turns into sinful attitudes or actions. If we are angry with a person, this means we should resolve the problems that cause the feelings as soon as possible and it should be done in a constructive way.
If a person has a problem controlling outward expressions of anger he should find some way to release that emotion without having “fits of rage” in which he may say or do things that could cause irreparable harm. For specific techniques of anger management it would be wise for an individual to consult a professional Christian counselor.
The power of anger can be tremendous. It must be harnessed and brought under the control of the Holy Spirit or it can become a violent emotion that destroys lives.
Please read the following verses: Galatians 5:19-26; Proverbs 29:22; Proverbs 22:24; Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 29:11; Proverbs 30:33; James 1:19-21; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
© 2021 by Prison Mission Association