Everyone has experienced anger at one point or another, it could be towards a person or a situation. Anger can have some harmful results, but can also be a good thing, thankfully the Bible helps us navigate through anger.
What does the Bible say about anger? The Bible says anger can lead man to sin. People are quick-tempered, but God is slow to anger. Scriptures about anger include:
- Ephesians 4:26-27
- Proverbs 14:29
- James 1:19-20
- Proverbs 15:1
- Psalm 37:8
Below are many passages throughout scripture that discuss anger, all verses taken from the English Standard Version.
1. Ephesians 4:26-27
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
Many people think that anger itself is a sin, but truly it is what we do when we are angry that is a sin or not.
When we are angry, we need to make sure we do not sin in our anger, because it presents the opportunity for the devil to come into our lives and tempt us.
2. Proverbs 14:29
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Throughout scripture, we can see one of the keys to being angry and not sinning is being slow to anger.
Before we get upset with a person or situation we need to think through what aggravates us so we can make the right decision, and not act like a fool
3. James 1:19-20
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
We are warned again in James to be slow to anger. If we have anger that is placed in the right way and will not lead us to sin, that can only come about through a slowness to anger.
Righteous anger like God has towards sin cannot come about in our own life when we get upset hastily.
4. Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Keeping others and ourselves from being angry can be the difference between one word. We need to be careful to speak with care, avoiding harsh words that create anger.
5. Psalms 37:8
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
Anger in our life can be righteous anger, but many times it is instead anger that will only lead to evil.
As humans with a sinful nature, when we get angry it is not typically righteous anger, and because of this, we should avoid anger and wrath.
6. Ecclesiastes 7:9
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
When we are quick to be anger in a situation we are acting like fools. This verse says that fools lodge anger in their heart, we want to be careful not to store anger in our hearts.
7. Proverbs 19:11
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
When we are offended our first instinct may be to be upset and angry with the person, but this verse flips that idea on its head by saying we will have glory when we overlook the offense. Our slowness of anger comes from good sense in these situations.
8. Colossians 3:8
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Anger in this verse is grouped with many other offenses such as malice and slander, this lets us know the seriousness of the offense and consequences of anger.
9. Proverbs 16:32
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
This verse lets us know that being slow to anger is not easy, but it is a desirable trait. Those who are mighty, and can take a city are put below those who are slow to anger and can rule their spirit.
10. Psalm 103:8
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is slow to anger, which should give us an indication of how we should live.
As Christians who want to live righteously, knowing the Lord is slow to anger should encourage us to do the same.
11. Proverbs 14:17
A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.
Not only is being quick temped bad for ourselves, and is not a good representation of God, those with a quick temper who act foolishly are not liked by those around him.
12. Ephesians 4:31-32
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Because we as Christians were treated with kindness and forgiveness, and not with the anger and wrath that we deserved as sinners, we should in the same way act towards others.
This means instead of acting in anger towards others, acting in love and kindness.
13. Matthew 21:12-13
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
Jesus lived a perfect life, and during his time on earth, we get an understanding of righteous anger. Jesus was upset at the religious leaders who had turned the temple to worship God in, into a marketplace.
His anger was in the right place, because of who Jesus is we know that he was not being quick to anger. When He drove them out, we know it was well placed and righteous.
14. Mark 3:5
And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
Jesus again had righteous anger when the religious leaders held keeping the sabbath over healing a man.
Jesus saw their hearts and was rightfully angry and sad that they were too caught up in their laws to understand the true heart of God.
15. Psalm 4:4
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Yes, we can be angry and there are good situations to be angry in, but this also means taking time to think about why we are angry. Our first step when we are angry should not be to share it or act on it, but instead, ponder it in our hearts and with God.
16. Romans 12:19
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Even in our righteous anger, there are times when there is nothing that we can or should do. God is ultimately the judge and avenger. When someone has wronged us we are not the ones to be the judge, vengeance is the Lords.
Even when we are angry, we ultimately need to leave the wrath that they may deserve to God.
17. Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
We all know that we should not murder someone, but this verse lets us know that even our angry thoughts towards others will be judged. It is not only what we physically do, but when our anger leads to sinful thoughts against someone else, we have sinned.
We will be liable to the judgment of God for our anger and words towards others.
18. Proverbs 30:33
For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.
Have you ever entered a situation where there is already tension, this verse gives us insight that we should be careful when there is anger involved because from anger comes strife.
We need to be aware in our own lives, and with others, that when pressing anger you will end up with conflict.
19. 1 Timothy 2:8
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;
Anger and disputes do not belong when we are worshiping God. Worshiping is a time to come before God with thanksgiving and praise, when we have anger in our hearts we cannot come to God with the proper heart of worship.
20. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
In 1 Corinthians 13, we get the definition of Love. One of the traits is “not irritable” or in the NIV version “is not easily angered.”
Slowness to anger is key. When we act in love, we will not be angered easily by what is going on around us.
21. Titus 1:7
For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,
Paul in his letter to Titus puts not being quick-tempered as one of the requirements to be in a position of authority in the Church. Being slow to anger must be key in Christian life.
22. Proverbs 22:24-25
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.
We will find ourselves struggling with anger if we find our company with those who struggle there.
23. Exodus 34:6
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
It is so good to know that God is slow to anger, we as sinful humans mess up many times, but we have confidence that in the character of the Lord.
This then translates to our life, as we seek to become more like Christ we can be less and less quick-tempered.
24. Matthew 5:23-24
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.
This passage in Matthew tells us how exactly we deal with anger in a relationship especially as we come before God to worship.
We need to first seek to be reconciled with whomever we have issues with so them we can properly and whole heartily worship God.
25. Psalm 86:15
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
God’s characteristics as we see stated throughout the Bible are consistent, in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and we know that it is the same today.
Knowing that God has shown us grace and favor, and was slow to anger with us should encourage us to show the same kindness, and slowness to anger with others.
26. Micah 7:18
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.
There truly is no one like God, he loves and pardon’s us even when we sin again and again. As it says in this verse his anger does not last forever.
Even as Christians who aim to be like Christ we make mistakes and are quick-tempered and sin. This shows our desperate need for God’s mercy.
27. Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
The only way that we can keep disagreements and disputes from occurring to us is to be slow to anger. This verse tells us it is the hot-tempered man who will have disagreements. It is those who are slow to anger that will be able to decrease arguments.
28. Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he lists fits of anger as one of the works of the flesh. These are all serious offenses, this verse lets us know the consequential nature of fits of anger. Fits of anger are anger that is quick and harmful.
29. Proverbs 29:22
A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.
We realize how significant the consequences of anger in this verse. When we are quick to anger, and let it get the best of us it leads to arguments and sin. Sin comes out of anger that is not righteous.
30. Psalm 145:8
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Press into the presence of God. Ask Him to outpour the Holy Spirit on you. He is the only one who can sustain you. He is the only one who can help you be slow to anger.