There’s a lot of anger these days. You see it on the news and social media every day. Maybe you see frustrated and angry people at work … or in your own home and life.
Anger is a complicated, fiery emotion. If you don’t get it under control, it will control you. Below are some biblical truths about anger, along with a key passage and a personal plan and prayer to help you manage anger. With God’s help, you can learn to control anger and even use it for good purposes.
“The Lord is my helper.”
God’s Heart on Anger
- Anger is a God-given emotion. God Himself experiences anger. “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin” (Exodus 34:6–7).
- Anger itself is not a sin – but what you do with it can lead to sin.
“Be angry and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26 ESV).
- God wants you to address your anger before it leads to harming yourself and others.
“Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm” (Psalm 37:8 NLT).
- God wants you to talk to Him when you’re angry.
“In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free” (Psalm 118:5 NLT).
Key Verse to Memorize
“Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because human anger does not produce
the righteousness that God desires.”
How to Control Your Anger: A Personalized Plan
As a powerful emotion, anger can be a weapon of abuse or a motivator for appropriate action. In our own strength, we struggle to control our anger. We are unable to allow anger to accomplish its proper purpose. But with Christ, we can control our anger and harness it as God intended—for helpful use rather than harmful abuse. The Bible says . . .
“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.”
(Psalm 4:4 NLT)
As I seek to control my anger, I will:
Believe that God can help me
— I will trust God, knowing that He is in control of my life.
— I will read God’s Word to find guidance on anger.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8).
Respond to upsetting situations appropriately
— I will ask God for peace and wisdom to respond to difficult or unexpected situations.
— I will take time to collect my thoughts before I respond.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
Watch my words carefully
— I will remember that God wants my words to be uplifting and encouraging.
— I will guard my mouth when tempted to lash out in anger.
“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).
Be accountable to God and others
— I will write out my thoughts when I’m angry, telling God what I’m feeling about the situation.
— I will seek the support of others and talk to friends or a counselor to help me deal with my anger.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT).
Give thanks in every situation
— I will remember God’s blessings in my life.
— I will write out a list of things I’m grateful for when I’m upset and thank God for them.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Forgive and seek forgiveness
— I will ask those who I’ve hurt by my anger for forgiveness.
— I will forgive those who have angered me, remembering that God has forgiven me of all my sins and does not treat me with anger.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).
Prayer to Release Your Anger
“Lord, thank you for loving me.
Thank you for caring about me.
Since you know everything, you know the strong sense of
( hurt, injustice, fear, and/or frustration )
I have felt about ( name or situation ).
Thank you for understanding my anger.
Right now, I release all of my anger to you.
Please fill me with your peace.
In the future, help me control my anger.
Set a guard over my mouth and
Give me your wisdom so I know
How to best respond when I’m upset.
Thank you for not treating me with anger
But for treating me with love and grace.
In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.”
“For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ,
not to pour out his anger on us.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:9 NLT)
More Helpful Resources on Anger
- A digital companion guide – a downloadable workbook with notes and questions for further study and reflection
- “What is God’s Heart on Anger?” – a PDF from the Keys for Living book on Anger with helpful, biblical insights related to this topic
How much more peace would you have if you dealt with all your frustrations? What would your life look like if knew how to respond to angry people?
This book provides more in-depth, biblical answers and practical steps for addressing anger and dealing with upsetting situations.