By Edwin Christiaan

But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.

Colossians 3:8 NLT

Anger is a normal sentiment we feel when something unjust has happened to us or when someone has let us down or deliberately or not, hurt us. There are many places in the Bible where you can find that God gets angry as a reaction to sin and injustice. Anger by itself is not the real problem, but it is the anger that remains unsolved which leads to bitterness and unforgiveness.

This kind of unresolved anger is a serious problem that so many Christians struggle with. It has become a wound inside of them that causes them to spontaneously and emotionally react when someone poke that sore spot of their life. The anger has overcome them.

We should also mention, in this context, the problem of hidden anger. This is anger which has been suppressed, and which may come to the surface only occasionally. People who have this type of anger may not usually be aware of it, but if someone does or says the wrong thing – perhaps a relatively innocent act or remark – they blow up in anger. It happens many times that they unleash their anger upon innocent parties, like for instance children who are around them, causing them to hurt others needlessly and potentially isolating them from the human contact that we all need.

Anger also leads to many emotional and psychological problems such as depression or nervousness. The presence of bitterness also causes problems with current or any prospective friendships and relationships. It acts as a poison that gradually chokes many aspects of our lives without us realizing it. Bitterness towards people who has hurt us or let us down, will ultimately lead to hate.

Anger that is not dealt with not only creates a rift between us and God, but also causes dysfunction within us. If we want to be free of the pain and the affects of it that causes us to be angry, we need to know who God really is to us and others, and how He sees human anger.

The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.

Psalm 145:8-9 NLT

That is why God is urging us to,

Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.

Psalm 37:8 NLT

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 

Ephesians 4:31 NLT

Because anger is a sin,

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.

Psalm 4:4 NLT

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT

The Bible labels an angry person a fool who acts foolishly:

Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 NLT

People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.

Proverbs 14:29 NLT

Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.

Proverbs 29:11 NLT

An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.

Proverbs 29:22 NLT

Because of this, God warns us not to befriend or associate with angry hot-tempered people:

Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.

Proverbs 22:24-25 NLT

God wants us to understand that human anger does not produce the righteousness He desires from us:

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

James 1:19-21 NLT

In order for us to be set free from anger, God requires from us to forgive anyone who has hurt us and anyone we are holding a grudge against, just as He has forgiven our sins!

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

Mark 11:25 NLT

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Without forgiveness, we are not co-operating with God’s will, and therefore are not in a place of God’s grace in order to receive healing for the hurt that we have experienced. Forgiveness is an essential element for the process of inner healing. As God through Jesus Christ has mercifully forgiven us of so much sin, we need to respect this gift of forgiveness by extending a forgiving attitude towards those who have wronged us. The consequence of us not forgiving others, would be an inability for us to know the forgiveness that God has offered us, and we will ultimately become subject to God’s judgment.

But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!

Matthew 5:22 NLT

Forgiveness is in reality obedience to God’s Word. It is not always easy. Depending on the degree of hurt or betrayal that is involved, it will often take time and effort. However, when a hurting person actually comes to the place where they understand God’s purpose for their lives as they realize that their personal happiness, their emotional freedom, and their good relationship with God depends on that forgiveness, they have reached a point where they can move forward in hope.

Through forgiveness, they are now effectively controlling their anger and inviting God to deal with it. Rather than allowing the anger to turn bad and causing hate, they acknowledge it, choose to forgive instead, and refuse to engage in thoughts of bitterness, revenge, or hate. They now understand that the time has come to get rid of anger and take on God’s character!

The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

Psalm 103:8-13 NLT

Copyright©2011 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan