Rosualdo is just an ordinary person with an extraordinary God, who wants to spread God’s words and love through writing articles and poems.
Anger has been looked upon as a horrible and frightening emotional monster, and a destructive and uncontrollable emotional beast. Merriam-Webster defines anger as “a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism.” Anger is usually stored and locked in the basement of a man’s heart, behind the fragile doors of denial and pretense. Is anger a sin? Do Christian should shun anger? Let’s take a look at the Scriptures concerning this emotional phenomenon. Ephesians 4:26-27 states, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Paul blew up one of the great myths of Christianity that anger is a sin. He never called anger a sin but warn believers of falling into sin if it is uncontrolled and unsettled, and it will be a factor for the devil to gain a foothold within our hearts.
Anger is a natural emotional occurrence such as happiness, sorrow, fear, and other emotions. It is a God-given feeling and not certainly sinful. It is not a biblical idea that it is more like God to never get angry. The Bible records several times the anger of the Lord and he felt angry. Jesus feel the same feeling of anger and yet he did not sin (John 2:13-16). Some believers deny and hide this feeling out of fear of what others will react or say about their behavior. It is not a good idea for a Christian to bond or cement and throw down anger underneath our life without uprooting the cause. Suppressing by hiding and denying anger will only lead to resentment, vengeance, and other harmful emotions that will contaminate the mental, emotional, and spiritual rivers which flow from our hearts without using the right approach and action in dealing with this feeling.
There are two kinds of anger, righteous or justifiable anger, and unrighteous or unjustifiable anger. The former is like God’s anger over sin, rebellion, disobedience, hypocrisy, and all evils and wrongdoings. The latter is fueled by jealousy and wrong intentions, failing to succeed and acquire the desired things, when things don’t go on his way, and other unjustifiable reasons. Unrighteous anger will always devour and consume the unguarded and vulnerable minds and hearts of the fools.
Psychologists have documented at least five phases or stages of anger.
- Mild irritation --a feeling of slight discomfort brought on by someone or something.
- Indignation--a frustration over something unfair or unreasonable.
- Wrath--a strong desire to retaliate and punish, which never goes unexpressed.
- Fury--a state that indicates violence and temporary loss of control.
- Rage--the most dangerous aspect, the full moon of anger where acts of violence are committed by people who do not aware of what they are doing.
Since anger is a very dangerous monster if uncontrolled, we should deal with and overcome it before the great damage is done.
What are the effective ways to overcome anger?
1. Learn and practice calmness and quietness
To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame. (Proverbs 18:13 NIV)
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
for anger resides in the lap of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV)
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (James 1:19 NIV)
Arguments usually build up when we respond to someone without listening. Quarrel erupts because no one knows the importance of being calm and quiet. Everyone knows how to speak before listening but only a few know how to listen first before speaking. Most anger-prone people rush to anger without investigating the facts. Anger will control the minds and hearts if no one understands calmness and quietness. Solomon points out that it is folly and shame to answer before listening and anger resides in the lap of fools. Calmness and quietness enable us to listen and exhibit our spiritual maturity. James illustrates the necessary things to do, to be quick in listening, slow in speaking, and slow in anger. Calmness and quietness are not the characteristics of a defeated life but a wise and mature life. To overcome anger we should learn and practice calmness and quietness.
2. Cultivate a habit of overlooking minor differences or disagreements.
A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)
For as churning cream produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife.” (Proverbs 30:33 NIV)
If a man wants the whole house not to be burned he should extinguish the fire not kindle it. Solomon says a person’s wisdom is a vital key to unlock patience and staying away from destructive troubles by ignoring an offense. He also points up that stirring anger will generate an unprofitable yield of strife. Pride’s tyrannical impulse will kindle anger’s flaming fire to consume us. Pride will make even the tiniest and minor wrong or fault appear as the unpardonable sin. Nurturing the seeds of minor offenses will only stir anger. Instead of nourishing, we’re to leave them alone to perish and wither. A piece of knowledge and a habit of disregarding minor differences or disagreements will keep our lives away from anger and troubles. Ignoring minor disagreement and fight is not showing fear or cowardice but demonstrating wisdom by keeping yourself and others away from chaos. To overcome anger we should cultivate a habit of overlooking minor differences or disagreements.
3. Guard and tame your tongue
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 NIV)
A gentle tongue can break a bone. (Proverbs 25:15 NIV)
If we’re not ready to keep a close guard and tame our tongue, our life will always be embroiled in anger. The tongue when used on anger, can blow with all the destructiveness of a lightning bolt spreading fires through relationships and destroying its bond. Solomon shows, that having a close check and taming the tongue can turn away anger, and can break a bone but an unguarded and untamed tongue stirs up anger. Gentleness in speaking exhibits wisdom and mastery and domination over the tongue. Let us be careful about the words that will come out of our tongue. We have to use our tongue to extinguish the fiery fire of anger and not to spread its harmful flame. To overcome anger we should guard and tame our tongue.
4. Avoid constant association with anger-prone people
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,
or you may learn their ways
and get yourself ensnared. (Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV)
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict. (Proverbs 15:18 NIV)
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV)
One great influencer in life is friendship and association. But not all people associated with us bring good and right influences on us. Some of them corrupt good character by the corrupt and bad influence they display on us as what Paul warn the believers at Corinth. Solomon on his part, advises anyone to make no friends and associate with a hot-tempered and easily angered person for he will learn their ways and will be ensnared, and a hot-tempered person will only stir up conflict. We cannot overcome anger if our company is anger itself through the people we get along with. Anger-prone people will influence us to become a monster and will trap us to the sinkhole of anger. We have to disassociate from the people who are prone to anger to avoid harmful influence. To avoid a lifestyle of anger, we must avoid the constant company of people who are prone to anger. To overcome anger we should avoid constant association with anger-prone people.
5. Practice honesty in communication
Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Proverbs 27:6 NIV)
Communication plays an important role in strengthening and connecting relationships. Anger wants to weaken and demolish this connection by burning the link and creating its barrier. Honesty in communication is a vital thing for it will cool down anger. Solomon shows, that even wounds from a friend can be trusted for honesty keeps no barrier in relationships. The best way to keep anger from building walls in relationships is through open and honest communication. We cannot overcome anger through dishonesty and pretension but by showing the whole truth in honest dealings. To overcome anger we should practice honesty in communication.
6. Practice self-control
Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28 NIV)
If a man wants to control his anger, he must practice self-control, or else anger will control him. Wrong motives, jealousy, things not going our way, hasty and improper reactions are a few of the foot soldiers of unrighteous anger that can quickly overrun and conquer our hearts. We have to keep our anger in check to avoid the devastating effects of this emotional monster. Without walls, anger can easily manage to invade and control our hearts. Solomon points out about people without self-control are like a city whose walls are broken through. Self-control is the protective wall that surrounds our hearts and keeps these sinful kinds of anger from taking over and dominates our lives. To overcome anger we should practice self-control.
7. Reminds yourself that sin is waiting to destroy you
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. (Ephesians 4:26 NIV)
Paul warns the Ephesian believers to avoid sin when they are in a state of anger. Sin is the only destination of uncontrolled anger. The setting of the sun marked the closing of the day, so all accounts of anger must be settled and cleared out to make an anger-free night. Prolong anger will explode into sin by giving sin the time and opportunity to come in. If we remind ourselves that sin is waiting to destroy us, we can take action to control or resolve our anger to avoid diving into sin and troubles. To overcome anger we should remind ourselves that sin is waiting to destroy us.
8. Reminds yourself that the devil is waiting to devour you
Do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:27 NIV)
Paul urges the Ephesians not only to avoid sin but also to avoid giving the devil a foothold or the opportunity to control and enslave them. The devil prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). The weak prey will be the priority of a lion to attack, the devil also will attack those who are weak. If we are weak in anger the devil can easily attack and devour us. We have to control our anger to give not the devil the opportunity and foothold. Uncontrolled anger is a wide-open door for Satan. Do not allow your anger to be expressed in such a way that the devil’s character is reproduced in you. If we remind ourselves that the devil is waiting to devour and control us, we can take action to control and settle our anger to avoid his dominion over us. To overcome anger we should remind ourselves that the devil is waiting to devour us.
In your anger do not sin (Ephesians 4:26). There is a righteous symmetry to this verse that needs to be reflected in the life of every believer. Some of us are out of balance because our lives are characterized by only half of the verse, In your anger. Others lean completely to the other side, Do not sin, thinking that a righteous living has no place for anger. Both unrestrained anger and the denial of anger will tip the scales towards unrighteousness. There is a proper balance, however, between the two halves. It can be brought about by the exercise of our will, which stands in the gap between, In your anger, and do not sin.
Charles R. Swindoll, You and Your Problems (Insights for Living, Post Office Box 4444, Fullerton, California 92634, 1989)
© 2021 Rosualdo Ponce
Rosualdo Ponce (author) from Gawad Kalinga Village Ticad, Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines on October 06, 2021:
Thank you, Misbah for taking the time to read my hub and for your nice comments. Anger should be overcome to avoid falling into sin and harmful things.
Blessings to you also!!!
Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on October 06, 2021:
Rosualdo, I enjoyed reading your article. I believe, as humans we go through many emotions that at times we feel are unable to control. Anger is one of them and the strongest one too. Nice of you to discuss this matter in the light of religion. Thank you for sharing.
Blessings to you!!