Definitions: A strong feeling of displeasure and usually of opposition toward someone or something, often brought about by real or imagined injury; rage; fury; wrath. Anger is a broad term that applies to various levels of emotion that may or may not be shown. Temper, as used here refers to “the tendency to be easily angered.”
1. God’s Word warns us not to yield to anger and wrath.
James 1:19,20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
2. Anger creates a breach in our spiritual defenses.
Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. [See also Proverbs 14:29]
Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
3. Anger often results from pride and selfishness.
Proverbs 21:24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
4. If we give place to ungodly anger, we will be the ones to suffer.
Proverbs 19:19a A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment.
Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
Matthew 5:22a But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the Judgment.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
5. A wise man controls his temper because he knows it leads to mistakes and even greater problems.
Numbers 20:7,8,10-12; Psalm 106:32,33 [Moses’ outburst of anger caused him to lose the blessing and privilege of leading his people into the Promised Land:] The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 8 Take the rod … and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes [the rebellious congregation]; and it shall give forth his water…. 10 Moses … said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. Psalm 106:32,33 They angered him [Moses] also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: 33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
Proverbs 14:17a He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly.
Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
Proverbs 19:11 The discretion [good judgement] of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
Ecclesiastes 5:2,6a Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in Heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 6a Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin.
6. An even wiser man or woman helps others to control their tempers.
Proverbs 15:1a A soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous [harsh] words stir up anger. [See also Proverbs 29:8b]
Proverbs 15:18b He that is slow to anger appeaseth [pacifies] strife.
Genesis 13:7-9 [Abraham wisely appeases strife which arose between his and his nephew, Lot’s herdsmen] And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: 8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
1 Samuel 25:1-35 [Abigail wisely pacifies the anger of Israel’s king-to-be, David, as he sought to kill her husband:] 32 David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: 33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
7. We are to forsake anger and pray for the Lord to replace anger with love, patience, meekness and forgiveness.
1 Corinthians 13:5 [Love] doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Ephesians 4:31,32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Colossians 3:8,12-15 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Ephesians 4:26b Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
8. Though the “wrath of man” is to be shunned, there is a time for “righteous indignation” or godly anger, a time to speak out against evil, wrongdoing and injustice. But we must be sure it is God’s anger, not our own.
Proverbs 25:23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
Ephesians 4:26a Be ye angry, and sin not.
Judges 14:19; 15:14,15; 16:28-30 [The Lord anointed Samson several times to be angry and used this anger to defeat the enemies of His people] And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil…. 15:14,15 The Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. 15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. 16:28-30 And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood.… 30 And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
Mark 3:5 [Jesus Himself was frequently stirred up with godly anger, such as the time His hypocritical religious enemies were watching to see if He would break the Laws of Moses by healing the man with the shrivelled hand on their holy day, the Sabbath:] And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. [See verses 1-4]
John 2:14-16 [The crowning example of Jesus’ anger was when He found certain religionists robbing and exploiting the poor in the Name of God:] And [Jesus] found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when He had made a scourge [whip] of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.