Anger divides. Frequently our anger is directed toward another person and the consequence is a fractured relationship. When we are angry with each other we avoid each other, we sulk, and we certainly aren’t likely to engage in Gospel work together. However, when we are angered by sin or injustice, this kind of anger is generally not sinful and it can often motivate us toward Gospel action. In the Bible, God Himself expressed anger at sin and at wicked people and the effect they were having others. Our own sinfulness and the brokenness of our world ought to grieve us and make us angry, especially when the result is injustice or affliction.
God’s righteous anger. God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. – Psalm 7:11 ESV
Our righteous anger. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. – Ephesians 4:26 ESV
Be slow to anger. Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. – Proverbs 14:29 ESV
Use self-control. A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. – Proverbs 29:11 ESV
No grudges. Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11 ESV
Address anger quickly. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24 ESV
Beware the influence of angry friends. Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. – Proverbs 22:24-25 ESV
In most cases anger is sinful, which means we need to deal with it like any other sin. Begin with confession, both to God and to those who have been affected by your anger. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus died on the cross and has already paid the penalty for your sin of anger. If the sin of anger continues to plague you, choose one of the Bible verses above that warn against the pitfalls of anger and reflect on it regularly for a week or two. Ultimately, unrighteous anger is a Gospel distraction, so we are wise to ask God to change us by the power of His Spirit through the wisdom of His Word.
2 Samuel 12
Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, by Gary Chapman