Anger is a natural human response. It is part of the emotional array that we inherit from our Heavenly Template. Yes, God gets angry too but He expresses it far differently than most humans: For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Ps. 30:5 NASB
Therefore, as it is the children of God’s goal to emulate Him, our anger should only be given a fleeting moment to exist.
For another example of this godly trait, see how God tempers His anger when dealing with our disobedience: But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath; Ps. 78:38 NKJV
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away…” Hos. 14:4 NKJV
What that says is that most of the time God is compassionate towards us during our slips and falls. He gives us a little leeway towards our transgressions (provided we confess and repent). We are expected to exercise similar patience, compassion, and forgiveness to those who may transgress against us. They, just like us, suffer in kind – embroiled in the human condition, going about unconsciously projecting that suffering onto others. We should be expressing a faith behavior that is based on love…
If we practice our faith-based walk, we will relent from hair-trigger responses to that which upsets us. We will ruminate over what would cause a person to behave in that fashion instead of striking back (i.e. taking vengeance) – trying to find a place where we can apply mercy (just like our Father): …for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. Joel 2:13 NKJV
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Rom. 12:19 ESV
Unrelenting anger leads to destruction (both to self and to others):
The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh. Pr. 11:17 NKJV
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger appeases contention. Pr. 15:18 AMP
…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. NKJV
Yes, anger will assuredly come again and again; but you can step back and observe your emotion, acknowledge it, and make the fact that you are experiencing anger known to whom has offended you. However, as a follower of Christ, at that point it behooves you to look for solutions rather than adding the sin of doing that person some kind of retaliatory physical or mental harm:
When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]. Eph. 4:26, 27. AMP
So, as we’ve already seen, God asks us to keep our anger short-lived; but also look at the last part of the above scripture. God is telling us that unabated anger also invites the devil into our heart and gives him room to roost – not a good thing:
But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 Jn. 2:11 NKJV
So their are spiritual ramifications for unchecked anger, and they include Divine retribution:
“…I will not revoke the punishment, because he pursued his brother with the sword and cast off all pity, and he kept his wrath forever.” Amos 1:11 ESV
“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment;” Mt. 5:22 ESV
One must also be wise enough to refrain from entertaining the expressions of other variations of anger as well, i.e. pride, envy, and jealousy. When you practice pride, you are lifting yourself above another, effectively oppressing them; and envy and jealousy are forms of anger born out of a lust after something someone else has – while simultaneously holding them in disdain for their good fortune.
By pride comes nothing but strife… Pr. 13:10 NKJV
For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. James 3:16 AMP
With regards to anger in all its forms, what is it that God is looking for from you?
But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feelings towards others, curses and slanders, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! Col. 3:8 AMP
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God my perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Tim. 2:24 – 26. ESV
THAT’S THE BIG PICTURE! You have no idea whether or not God has sent this offending person to you for you to guide into His salvation.
We will run into angry people from time to time. We can offer our best understanding and overtones of comfort and peace, but if they refuse to change their behavior, we want to keep our distance: Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul. Pr. 22:24, 25. NKJV
But other than the chronic offenders who have no desire to coexist with you in peace, we must first offer up love:
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven…” Mt. 5:44, 45. NASB
It requires you to take on a new mindset – the mindset of God through Christ and the Holy Spirit:
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:31, 32. NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Gal. 5:22, 23. NASB
The long and the short of it is that if we want to get anger out of ourselves, we must practice a life living the opposite, i.e. a life of peace:
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Rom. 12:18 ESV
…live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Cor. 13:11 NKJV
Ultimately, we can choose anger and die inside (anger kills its host) or we can choose peace and live. Choose peace…
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Mt. 5:9 NKJV
Goodnight and God bless.