Being angry is not always a sin. If you regularly interact with other people, some will regularly provoke you. As a human, you will be tempted to hold a grudge or repay their actions with evil, but as a Christian, you should ask yourself, is being angry a sin?
Ephesians 4:26 allows Christians to be angry. However, in the same verse, they are cautioned against harboring the hate in their hearts for too long. This is because anger is destructive.
What does the Bible say about being angry? What is righteous anger? How did Jesus deal with anger? When does anger become a sin? Should you get angry as a Christian? How can Christians get angry and not sin? How can Christians control their anger?. Keep reading to learn more!
What does the Bible say about being angry?
Knowing how to handle your anger is a vital life skill. Reports from many Christian counselors show that half of the persons going for counseling sessions have an issue dealing with anger. Anger ruins many people’s happiness and health, disrupts communication, and tears apart relationships. There is no saint when it comes to the issue of anger; everyone struggles to a varying degree with anger. Luckily, the word of God contains principles on how to handle oneself when angry. These principles will help you to overcome sinful anger.
Anger does not always qualify to be a sin. The Bible affirms righteous anger. For instance, there are many instances where God is angry in the Bible, such as in Psalm 7:11. However, God’s anger is acceptable; it is righteous anger. Also, the Bible allows Christians to be angry. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Ephesians 4:26. Anger is God-given and is intended to assist us in problem-solving. Other cases of people being angry in the Bible include; David being angered by the rich man who slaughtered a poor man’s only lamb despite owing a huge flock, 2nd Samuel 12:1-31; Jesus being angered by Jews who turn God’s temple into a marketplace, John 2:13-18. Looking at these cases closely, you will notice that the anger is not centered on self or self-preservation but on defending a principle or others.
That being said, it is also right for you to be angry at yourself for an injustice you inflicted against yourself. Anger is a warning flag; it alerts you when someone is attempting or has violated your boundaries. Because most of the time, people do not care about your feelings, it is crucial to stand up for yourself. This is especially considering the anger and, in serious cases, health implications victims of abuse have to deal with. In most cases, anger does not arise when someone is undergoing a traumatic event. It arises later when you are trying to work through the trauma. As a victim, if you want to reach a place of true health and forgiveness, you must first accept the trauma. You should also be able to handle the anger that comes with realizing that actions against you were unjust. The anger might last long, especially if you are a victim of abuse. However, you are advised to control your anger to reach a place of acceptance and even forgiveness. Often, this is a long journey, but it is worth it. Allow God to heal you.
It is crucial to know instances when anger develops into sin. First, when driven by pride, James 1:20; second, when you allow it to linger; when not productive and thus derailing God’s purpose, 1 Corinthians 10:31, anger becomes a sin. A sign that your anger has changed into a sin is when you decide to attack the abuser instead of dealing with the problem. According to Ephesians 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
Therefore, you should learn to speak the truth in love and desist from using destructive or rotten words. Unfortunately, using destructive or poisonous words is a common trait of fallen men, Romans 3:13-4. Anger becomes a sin when you allow it to boil over without controlling it, resulting in the multiplication of hurt and destruction of the victim’s urge to live, Proverbs 29:11. Most of the time, consequences of unrestrained anger are irreparable. Anger becomes a sin if you hold a grudge, refuse to be pacified, or keep it all inside. This can result in depression and irritability over minor things, often unrelated to the underlying problem.
You can handle your anger biblically by accepting your wrong handling of anger as a sin, I John 1:9. This confession should be to those hurt by our anger and God. Desist from minimizing the sin through blame-shifting and excuses. You can also deal with your anger biblically by leaving room for God to exert his justice. Leave room for the wrath of God; avoid playing God. The Bible states that God is just; therefore, trust him to act justly because He knows and sees all, Genesis 18:25. You can also choose to repay evil with kindness, Romans 12:21. This is an effective way of converting your anger into love. Lastly, you can communicate with the abuser to solve the problem. Communication has proved to be an effective way to solve conflicts between individuals or parties.
What is righteous anger?
Billy Graham, a renowned televangelist, suggested that Righteous anger is anger that is not centered on yourself or your desires. For instance, David is angered by the rich man who slaughtered a poor man’s only lamb despite owing a huge flock, 2 Samuel 12:1-31; Jesus is angered by Jews who turn God’s temple into a marketplace, John 2:13-18. Looking at these cases closely, you will notice that the anger is not centered on self or self-preservation but on defending a principle or others. These are good examples of righteous anger.
How did Jesus deal with anger?
Jesus dealt with anger by confronting the offenders. For instance, He drives the people who had turned the temple in Jerusalem into a marketplace away. At one point, He overthrows the tables and pours the money changers’ money. His anger is righteous because it defends a principle; the temple of God should be respected. It is a place of worship, not a marketplace.
When does anger become a sin? Understanding sinful anger
Anger becomes a sin when motivated by pride, James 1:20. It can also become a sin when allowed to linger, Ephesians 4:26-27. When unproductive and thus detailing God’s purpose, 1 Corinthians 10:31. A sign that your anger has changed into sin is when you take matters into your own hands and attack the abuser instead of dealing with the problem. According to Ephesians 4:15-19, you should learn to speak the truth in love and desist from using destructive or rotten words.
Unfortunately, using destructive or poisonous words is a common trait of fallen men, Romans 3:13-4. Anger becomes a sin when you allow it to boil over without restraint, resulting in the multiplication of hurt, which has a devastating effect on the person harboring it, Proverbs 29:11. Mostly, the consequences of unchecked anger are irreparable. Anger becomes a sin if you hold a grudge, refuse to be pacified, or keep it all inside. This can result in depression and irritability over minor things, often unrelated to the underlying problem.
Should you get angry as a Christian?
Christians can become angry. The Bible allows Christians to be angry, Ephesians 4:26. At the same time, it instructs them to be slow to anger; “wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:’ James 1:19. As a Christian, if you are angered by someone or something, you should learn to deal with your anger in a biblical way to prevent it from becoming a sin.
How can Christians get angry and not sin?
As a Christian, you can get angry and not sin by forgiving the person who has angered you and leaving the rest to God. The Bible states that God is just; trust him to act justly because He knows and sees all. You can also choose to repay evil with kindness. Romans 12:21 says, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” This may make the person who acted to anger you feel guilty and apologize. If they do not change, consider approaching them and talking things out. Be careful with the utterances when addressing them.
How can Christians control their anger?
It is right to be angry as a Christian. However, it would be best to learn to control your anger before it becomes a sin. The best way to control your anger from becoming a sin is to communicate when you feel wronged or see someone abusing another. Mind the language you use when approaching the abuser or someone you feel has wronged you or others. Avoid using poisonous or destructive words that might worsen instead of solving the problem.
Bible verses about anger
There are several Bible verses about anger.
Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” Therefore, do not harbor anger inside you for long because it might destroy you,
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” The Bible means that a soft answer to provocative words turns away anger, but a harsh response stirs anger.
Ephesians 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Therefore, as a Christian, you should avoid bitterness, slander, and anger; instead, be kind to others.
These are just a few verses addressing the issue of anger in the Bible.
billygraham.org. (2016). Why is anger a sin if God and Jesus have been angry? Retrieved January 6, 2023
desiringgod.org. (2022). Is it possible to be angry and not sin? Retrieved January 6, 2023
GotQuestions.org. (2012). What does the Bible say about anger? Retrieved January 6, 2023
kingjamesbibleonline.org. (2015). King James Bible online; Bible Verses about Being Angry. Retrieved January 6, 2023
kingjamesbibleonline.org. (n.d.). Official King James Bible online. Retrieved January 6, 2023
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.