Take Preventive Steps to Avoid Getting Mad or Angry
Bible-based antidotes to anger
Doug Britton, MFT
There is such a thing as “righteous anger,” but most of our anger is not righteous. In fact, our anger is usually destructive.
The Bible studies is this series on anger are adapted from the book Victory over Grumpiness, Irritation, and Anger. Feel free to print this study (as well as the others), and then use it to evaluate yourself.
A common obstacle to overcoming anger is:
“Not recognizing I am sinning when I am angry.” It is rare that our anger is righteous anger. As James wrote:
Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:20)
I won’t have as much trouble getting angry if I am:
David had every right to be angry with his son Absalom. After all, Absalom wanted to kill David, Yet David loved Absalom passionately, and grieved deeply when he learned of his death.
The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son.” (2 Samuel 18:33)
Related: Why should I love my enemies?
Look at God’s example in 2 Peter 3:9, then read Proverbs 15:18.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting
anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. (Proverbs 15:18)
Look at Paul’s example in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Read Ephesians 4:2 and Colossians 3:13:
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
Understanding other people
Read about God’s understanding in Hebrews 4:15:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Related: What does God say about anger?
Aware of anger’s destructiveness
Read about the results of anger in Psalm 37:8 and Proverbs 15:1:
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37:8)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Secure in who I am in God
Read about Jesus’ silence before Pilate in Matthew 27:12-14. Note that Jesus didn’t “need” to defend himself.
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. (Matthew 27:12-14)
I will pray to become more: ____________________________
One practical step I will take to make this change is:
Related: What makes you angry?
More Bible Studies
Videos on Anger
About Doug Britton, MFT
Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)
Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.