Dealing with Anger as a Christian

By Rebecca Goings – June 01, 2021
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God has gifted us with an array of many deep and impactful emotions, one of which is anger. Some Christians believe anger is a sin, and while many forms of anger are sin, there are many other legitimate forms of anger as well. What we must discern as Christians is how to have self-control in our anger, and also how to forgive when we’ve been wronged.

The Apostle Paul told us in Ephesians 4:26 to “Be angry, yet do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” Even Christ became angry and fashioned a whip to chase the money changers out of the temple (John 2:15), all the while having no sin within Himself. Therefore we know it is possible to be angry, yet not sin in that anger.

The problem stems from either overreacting to the offense or not letting it go. If anger is allowed to fester within a heart, it eventually demands retribution and turns into bitterness. These evil roots, if not weeded out, will grow into sin upon sin. Not only that, but the anger we hold on to can drive a wedge in our relationship with God Himself. If we do not forgive others, then He will not forgive us (Matthew 6:15). This is sobering. This means that while anger can be felt and expressed, it is of utmost importance to deal with it swiftly, before the sun goes down that very day.

How should we then deal with this anger that eats at us? First, we must recognize that we have been wronged in some way. However, it is not always beneficial for our flesh to lash out and react to it. Matthew 18 gives us a structured way to deal with being wronged by a brother or sister in Christ through church discipline. Jesus goes on in Matthew 18:22 to tell Peter to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven. Basically, if our brother comes to us for forgiveness, we are to continue to forgive them no matter how many times we are wronged.

However, this can be a very difficult task, if not impossible for us to do on our own. That’s why we need God’s help in this. Go to Him, ask Him for the grace you need to forgive and the peace in your heart that passes all understanding. For the believer who truly desires these things, He will not deny them. In fact, God will be quite pleased that you petition Him in this way, and will likely bless you greatly for wanting the ability to forgive the wrong.

Then, determine to let your anger go. Give it to God. Cast all your cares upon Him. He will take it and replace it with love in your heart for the one who wronged you. It is impossible to hate someone in your life if you pray for them in love. This is why Christ taught us to pray for our enemies and for those who hate us. Always love your neighbor, no matter who they are, and make it the mark of your life to be the one who forgives all offenses not only seven times, but seventy times seven.