Examples of Righteous Anger
God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day. — Psalms 7:11.
So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded. — 1 Kings 11:9, 10.
Therefore, the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. — 2 Kings 17:18.
Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. — Mark 3:4, 5.
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” — John 2:13-16.
Results of Unrighteous Anger
Leads to murder:
but He [the LORD] did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. — Genesis 4:5-8.
Leads to Evil:
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret— it only causes harm. — Psalms 37:8.
Stirs up Strife:
A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention. — Proverbs 15:18.
Leads to transgression:
An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression. — Proverbs 29:22.
Wisdom & Patience Key to Overcoming Anger
The wise and the fool vis-à-vis anger:
A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated. — Proverbs 14:16, 17.
He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly. — Proverbs 14:29.
The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. — Proverbs 19:11.
Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools. — Ecclesiastes 7:9.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. — James 1:19, 20.
Biblical solution to handling anger —
Shun Sinful Anger; Adopt Forgiveness and Loving Kindness
Our Lord’s View on Anger:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” — Matthew 5:21-24.
Works of the flesh:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. — Galatians 5:19-21.
Fruit of the Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. — Galatians 5:22-24.
“Be angry, and do not sin” : do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. — Ephesians 4:26-27.
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. — Colossians 3:8, 12-13.
Anger can be one of the most intense, destructive, and unhealthy emotions that we can experience. Improperly handled, it can have drastic life-changing consequences. Anger may be caused by pressures of work, family or even from being the innocent victim of another’s wrong-doing. Left unresolved, anger creates an intense desire to destroy.
Whatever the reason for anger, the Bible has answers on what causes anger, examples of good (righteous) and bad (unrighteous) anger and how we should deal with it as Christians. Our earnest prayer should be that God changes our heart as we allow Him to fashion us into vessels fit to carry His gospel to the world.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.