Anger is an everyday emotion that we all struggle with. Maybe somebody cut you off in traffic, or perhaps someone said a rude comment about you online. Whatever the cause, our anger can take many shapes and forms; when not expressed healthily, it can cause devastating harm to ourselves and those around us.
The most famous example of this would be the story of Cain and Able in Genesis. Cain grew angry with his brother over time when his sacrifices to God were denied and Able’s were accepted. God even warned Cain that sin would take hold of him if he didn’t master his anger in Genesis 4:7, and that’s precisely what happened. Cain let his anger overcome him, and he killed his brother. Now, most people wouldn’t be driven to such extremes by their anger, but the moral of the story remains the same: if you don’t master your anger, it will master you.
Everyone gets angry, but when your anger stops you from controlling what you say and do, it could be a sign of anger issues. You may have anger issues if you find yourself exploding into verbal or physical violence, giving the silent treatment, or other passive-aggressive behaviors in response to an event uncontrollably.
Thankfully, God has wisdom in the Bible about confronting and managing our anger. In James 1:19-20, we are instructed to respond to each other with self-control and patience. The verse says, “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.” Proverbs 16:32 says, “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.”
Without self-control and patience, what is gained today could be easily lost tomorrow. Anger issues are all about lacking control over the aforementioned emotion. The best way to start tackling these issues is first to acknowledge that your anger controls you and not the other way around. Without self-control, we are powerless to manage our anger and other emotional situations that may arise around us. This leads to us harming ourselves and those around us without meaning to.
We sometimes are quick to jump the gun on our response to what others say about us. When we listen to the words of Scripture found in James, it is a call to reflect. Being mindful of what we say and do is half the battle of learning to control our emotions.
With all that said, it’s also important to realize that anger isn’t always a negative emotion. Anger informs us when something is wrong in our world and helps us be attentive to it. How we process that anger determines if it is a negative or positive emotion. After acknowledging your anger, you then need to express it in a healthy way. One of those ways is to not speak until you are calm. Other people around you are all made in God’s image, just like you, and should not be insulted or spoken to with ill intent. We are all children of God.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32. Let your anger go! Holding grudges is an unhealthy habit and can lead your anger to overshadow other emotions that may otherwise help you manage your anger. Anger taints how we see fellow children of God and, as Christians, could cause us to fall deeply into sin.
If you’re struggling with anger, you don’t have to go through it alone. NuWell Christian Counseling can help you learn to acknowledge and control your anger. Our Christian counselors provide therapy based on science and the Bible to provide you with counseling that is faithful and true.