How to Handle Anger Biblically (Part 3)

In our first blog in this series we focused first on defining what anger is. We said that anger is: a passionate, active, moral response, of the entire person to a perceived wrong or injustice.  In the second blog in this series we discussed the differences between righteous anger and sinful anger. This blog will seek to handle the most pressing issue as it pertains to anger, “How to Handle Anger Biblically.”

Questions to Ask First

No matter what circumstance we are in, it is always best to first make sure we have enough data to make a wise decision.  The same is true when we think about manifesting anger.  There are a number of questions that we should either ask ourselves or encourage others to ask before anger is the option that is chosen.  Some of the most helpful questions that I have found are:

  • Am I angry about the right thing?— You will spend most of your time answering this question. (see the section on righteous verses sinful anger).
  • Is my anger primed and ready to respond to another person’s sin? — If you can’t respond to someone’s sin biblically, then anger will not be the best choice.
  • What is going to be the effect of my anger? Or another way to saying this is, will my anger actually accomplish anything?—Being angry, but not having a solution that actually matter may not be the best solution to a problem.

Before manifesting anger, we need to make sure we are asking the right questions and seeking to ensure that we have enough facts before deciding if anger is the right choice.

8 Gospel Centered Solutions for Change

For most the real issue is going to be that they manifest anger that is unrighteous.  Here are some helpful steps to combat sinful anger:

  1. Honestly acknowledge the emotional component of your anger. Pretending like it isn’t there isn’t going to help you.  So cry out to God, share with others, and be honest.
  2. Factor the sovereignty of God into your situation. Knowing that God is in total control over everything should not be truth that is quickly discarded if you have sinful anger.  Seeing God as active is key to resting in him. Within the sovereignty of God you can focus on:
    – God is using this to make me more like his Son (Rom. 8:28-29)
    – God may be using this evil for my good (Gen. 50:20)
  3. Repent and confess of sinful anger to God and any persons that you have sinned against. Confession and repentance are hard roads, but without these important steps, turning from anger will be impossible.
  4. Cry out to God for help. God will help us, He wants us to draw near (Heb. 5:15-16) and he is ready to help in our time of need.
  5. Carefully evaluate your thoughts, and replace the false and deceptive ideas with ones that meet biblical criteria. So much of what goes on in our head is not correct, and we need to focus on what scripture calls us to focus on (Phil. 4:8.)
  6. Carefully evaluate your desires and replace false idols with worship of the true God. All of us are idol factories. We worship so many other things rather than the one true God.  We are tempted when we seek after those things more than love for God (Jas. 1:14-15.)
  7. Remind yourself of the patience that God and others have had with you. Often we are so quick to forget how longsuffering God is toward us, and that He is gracious and merciful.  We need to extend that toward others (Ps. 145:8.)
  8. Pray for the person who has mistreated you. There is nothing better to combat evil by showing good (Rom. 12:21.) If someone has wronged you…show love.
  9. You have move more important questions to ask, or other helpful ways of gospel centered change.  Post in the comments section below and let’s keep the conversation going!
Joshua M. Greiner
Josh has been on staff with Faith since 2010. He graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Political Science (2008) and from Faith Bible Seminary with a MDiv (2013), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a ThM in Biblical Counseling (2017) and is pursuing a PhD in Counseling from SBTS as well. He serves as the Pastor of Faith West Ministries, the Chaplin of the West Lafayette Fire Department, an instructor with Faith Bible Seminary, and a Fellow with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He is married to his wife Shana, and they have four children together.