Controlling Anger Before it Controls You


Today’s post is the response to a reader request.

Ken, could you please give me your opinion, of course based on scripture, regarding anger? I have heard people say they can become really angry because the Bible says “Be angry, and sin not”, but where do you draw that line between being angry and sinning in your anger? Thank you for your response.   Gail

Gail’s question is a good one for us to think about.  Consider these four points.

#1 Anger is not a sin per se.

Over 375 times the Old Testament says that God gets angry.  The Psalmist  said, “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day. (Ps 7:11).  God gets angry when people disobey His commandments.  Hurt other people.  Reject Him.

Jesus was angry when he saw that greedy people were using the Temple as a means to make money.  John says that he “made a whip of cords,” “drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.”  Then he ordered,  “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”  We often call this righteous indignation.

The Bible says, “in your anger do not sin” (Eph 4:26).  We get angry.  Admit it!  Just learn to control it.

#2 Anger can become sinful.

We may sin in our anger when it is personal based on selfish motives.  When anger is rooted in ungodly attitudes it will lead to sin. Ungodly anger often ascribes motives to others that are unfounded.  Anger is sinful when it desires to hurt instead of help.

Anger becomes sinful when it leads to brawling.  Bitterness. And slander.  When anger issues itself in evil speaking, corrupt speech, and ungodly attitudes it is wrong.  If anger turns into malice, it is sinful.  (Eph. 4:32).

#3 We can choose how to handle anger. 

Some people blow up.  They fly into a fit of rage.  Explode with ugly epitaphs.  And leave emotional damage in its wake.  This is anger out of control.  And it is sinful.

Other people clam up.  They get angry but hold it inside themselves.  Sometimes they won’t even admit it.  This is the wrong way to handle anger.   It will usually settle in the heart in the form of bitterness.  Also unresolved anger will lead to depression.

The right way to handle anger is to own up!  Admit it.  Own it.  Deal with it.  Control it.

#4 We can control our anger by relying on Christ.

We are commanded to have the attitude of Christ (Phil 2:5).  Follow Christ (1 Pet 2:22).  Be guided by the Word of Christ.  When we do that, we will be  able to control anger through Christ who gives us strength (Phil 4:13).  Christ can relieve our frustrations.  Heal our hurts.  And comfort our hearts.  This will help us control anger.

Also reflecting before reacting will help us not to cross the line from righteous anger to unrighteous anger.  The advice of James is practical.  “Be quick to listen.  Slow to speak.  Slow to become angry” (Jas. 1:19).

The wisdom of Proverbs also will help us.  “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.”  (Prov. 19:11)

Finally think of your life like a tube of toothpaste.  When it is squeezed whatever is inside will come out.  If your are filled with malice, wrath and bitterness, when you are squeezed, your anger will inappropriately explode in an ungodly way.  But if you are filled with the fruit of Spirit–love, joy, peace, goodness and patience, when you are squeezed your anger will be tempered.  Controlled.  And righteously directed.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Anger

8 responses to “Controlling Anger Before it Controls You

  1. John Grant

    Great thoughts.

  2. julie davidson

    thank you for putting the topic of getting angry, & yet not sinning, into perspective! great post! 🙂 in His love, Julie p.s. have a JOYOUS day!

  3. This is so well put. It was where our discussion went with my students in confirmation class the other night. I’ll bring this to them next week. Thanks so much and God’s blessings on your day!

  4. Gail Story

    Thankyou Ken. That was great. It really helped me know what to say when others say that to me. As always, you do a great job every day.

  5. Harry

    Seems that anger is a paradox!. Is anger a temptation or not? If you are tempted to be angry; do you sin? May be that it depends on what you are angry at. The example of Jesus was righteous anger. Some anger caused, by temptation, can be sinful. That anger is warned against.

  6. Brother in Christ

    sincere greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus.

    Brother, I preach for a very small congregation in Andhra Pradesh State, INDIA. I got baptism in 2004 at KAKINADA SCHOOL OF PREACHING. I went there to be a listener obeyed to the truth. Before that I finished basic Bible Correspondence course via postal system from SATYA VANI CHRUCH OF CHRIST. Latter, I attended preaching to Church of Christ in my neighboring village. After 4 and half years I starte Preaching in my own village VEMAVARAM and now we are TEN baptized members. I study with various individuals from HOLY BIBLE.

    This month I am visiting Araku valley, Vishakhapatnam. With my friends. There several people come from several corners of the world. I wanted take that opportunity to distribute Gospel Tracts at least to One Hundred People. Brother, Could you send me some good tracts? Please consider the Possibilities from your Side Brother. Please pray for me and my ministry. I preach for a very small congregation. We are Just 10. I am studying with various individuals. None of my family members are Christians. I am trying to change them also. I mention you, your works for the Lord and your families in my prayers for His Love and Kindness. Thanks.

    Your Brother in Christ

    My Mailing Address is

    MOBILE 918897383702

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