Nov 29

Anger is a response to something that a person considers negative that has happened around them or to them. It is an emotion which has various levels of intensity and different responses.

People undergo changes in their personality when they get angry. They often are no longer in control, become irrational, and say or do things that they later regret.

Different Degrees of Anger
There are different words in the English language used to describe the different degrees of the emotion anger. Within each of these terms, there are also different degrees where they move from one term to another. For example, being very frustrated and getting upset are similar, and being very upset and starting to get mad are also similar.

I have come up with five different groups of words that represent five different levels of anger. 1) annoyance, frustration, and irritation, 2) cross, 3) angry or upset, 4) mad, and 5) rage or wrath.

As Christians, we are going to deal with minor irritation, frustrations, and annoyances in this life as long as we are in this body. But these feelings can be contained and controlled by the grace of God so that they do not advance into the realm of acting cross or being angry, upset, mad or going into a rage.

I would hold that irritation, frustration, annoyance and being cross are not sin, but getting mad and going into a rage is definitely sinful and should never be once named among those that profess the name of Christ.

Jesus displayed a righteous anger towards the Pharisees because of the hardness of their hearts (Mat 3:5), and began (Joh 2:15) and finished (Mar 11:15) his ministry by driving the money-changers out of the temple.

One of the qualifications of an overseer is that he is “not soon angry” (Tit 1:7). Jesus said that “whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Mat 5:22). We are told as Christians to put away (Eph 4:31) and put off (Col 3:8) anger; and if we are angry to not sin (Eph 4:26), that we should be “slow to anger” (Jam 1:19 YLT).

Paul warns us that “fits of rage” (Gal 5:20 NIV) are one of the works of the flesh, and that “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21).

Some people are meek and mild by nature, and do not have much of a problem with anger even before they were converted. To others, this can be an area in their life that has been a weakness and they have had failures in this area even after being born again.

My Personal Experience
This area was a big weakness in my life, and I can testify by the grace of God and to the glory of Jesus that I have complete victory in this area of my Christian walk. There was a time in my life before I was converted that I would very quickly get upset and angry when things did not go my way. I would be verbally abusive toward others, or bang and kick things around.

Even after I was saved, I had to deal with strong temptations to get upset and often had to suppress strong feelings of annoyance, frustration, and irritation. I know what is is like to personally struggle with and suppress feelings of anger, but I am thankful that I have found complete victory in this area in my life.

After I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which purifies the heart from the sin nature (Act 15:9), all feelings of anger were completely eradicated, and I no longer have those feelings that I used to have to suppress.

I feel for those that have struggles in this area, and if we have spouses or Christian brothers and sisters that are struggling in these areas, we need to uphold them in prayer and exhort them to look to Jesus for complete victory.

Six Steps to Victory
1. Attitude Change – You must change your attitude towards whatever degree of anger you are dealing with in your life. You must reject the idea that this is a weakness or a sin that you will have to bear for the rest of your life, or you will not be able to get victory over it.

There is power in the name of Jesus to deliver and keep you from all sin and  help you perfect holiness in the fear of God. God is able to make all grace abound toward you, and to help you grow in patience and meekness and  have greater victory in your life.

Also, it is important to not overlook your conduct just because it may only happen once in awhile. The Christian graces you have are only as high as they are at your worse moment. You are only as spiritual as you are in your lowest conduct. What comes out of your life in the middle of your worst trial is what was there all along.

2. Flee to Christ – Whenever you start to feel irritated, frustrated, or annoyed, you must stop everything you are doing and go and pray. If you are at work, you should go and take a restroom break and pray there. Pray until you have the victory over these feelings.

You may need to take a break from what you are doing and come back to it later if you find the task annoying. The reason Christians get upset or angry is because they do not go to prayer and seek God for help, but keep on going in their own strength. This is where failure comes in.

3. Hearing and Following the Voice of God – You must learn to listen and hear the voice of God. He will be faithful to warn you that temptation is on its way and that you need to pray. You must make it a matter of prayer every day that God will help you to hear His quiet voice of warning. Then, when you hear it, you must heed it. How many times have you gotten into trouble by overriding the voice of the Lord?

4. More Faith Through Prayer and the Word – Anytime you have a lack in your Christian walk, you need more grace and faith. By reading the Word of God and seeking God in prayer, your faith will be increased.

You build faith by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17), and by praying in the Holy Spirit (Jud 1:20). It is by faith that you stand (2Cor 1:24; Rom 11:20), by faith that you have victory over the world (1Joh 5:4), by faith that you quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Eph 6:16), and you are kept by the power of God from sin through faith (1Pet 1:5).

5. Confession – Any actions of anger that you have expressed towards another person needs to be confessed first to God, and then to the person you expressed them toward. Immediately, when you realize you have acted in a way that is below the Gospel standard, go and pray and ask God to help you, empower you, and forgive you.

Pray until the feelings of anger go away. Cry out to God and plead the blood of Jesus. Then go to the person and humble yourself, taking all blame to yourself, and confess and ask for forgiveness. If they are a Christian, it may be in order to ask them to pray with you and for you. Let them know you take these things serious and that you are looking to Jesus for complete victory.

When you humble yourself in this way, the Word of God promises grace. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (Jas 4:6). A commitment to ask others for forgiveness brings with it a shame factor that also helps you resist wrong attitudes and conduct.

6. Entire Sanctification - Anger is the result of the carnal nature. When we are saved, God gives us grace to suppress the carnal nature. In the work of entire sanctification (sanctify you entirely” 1The 5:23 NRSV), he removes the sinful nature and gives us a pure heart (Act 15:9). This is a very important step for the Christan.

The Bible also refers to this experience as the “promise of the father” or the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Read more on the Promise of the Holy Spirit and What the Promise of the Holy Spirit Does.

Applicable Scriptures:
Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
1Ti 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Advanced Study:
There are seven Greek words that are translated into anger, angry, and wrath in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. The following show the Greek work in the Greek font, transliteration to English characters, and the Strong’s number. Then it shows how the KJV of the Bible translates them and the number of times they are translated that way. The link takes you to the Blue Letter Bible lexicon, which provides further information and a list of all the scriptures where these words are found.

θυμός – thymos G2372 KJV – wrath 15, fierceness 2, indignation 1
ὀργή – orgē G2709 KJV – wrath 31, anger 3, vengeance 1, indignation 1
ὀργίλος – orgilos G3710 KJV – soon angry 1
ὀργίζω – orgizō G3711 KJV – be angry 5, be wroth 3
παροργίζω – parorgizō G3949 KJV – anger 1, provoke to wrath 1
παροργισμός – parorgismos G3950 KJV – wrath 1
χολάω – cholaō G5520 KJV – be angry 1

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8 Responses to “Victory over Anger”

  1. 1. Lisa Says:

    I need prayer in this area. This sort of lack of self-control was modeled to me, as a young child, through my mother; I endured her abuse and anger. I am determined to be different toward my own children, but I struggle with this, especially during my cycle. I want victory through Jesus. I want to let go of the tight control I try to keep on my life, and trust Him. Please pray for me.

  2. 2. Bob Mutch Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    To have power over anger you must have power over sin. Any one that gives into sin in one area of their life will have problems with sin in other areas. We can’t grow in grace and add the fruit of the Spirit to our Christian experience if we are falling in and out of sin. After we have gained complete victory over sin by grace through faith we then can perfect holiness in the fear of God and work out our salvation and gain victory in the fruit of the Spirit.

    While all progress in the Christian life is by grace through faith there are some things we can do to gain better control of our feelings and moods. 1) Lots of prayer and reading of the Word, 2) Clearfulness to hear the voice of the Lord — if you will listen he will warn you of coming trials, 3) When you start to get irritated run to the place of prayer and stay there until you have victory, 4) Commit to live a selfless life and give up all your rights, 5) Resist thoughts of complaining and don’t verbalize them, 6) Think it not strange concerning your trails but rejoice in them knowing you are called to be partakers in the sufferings of Christ (1Pet 4:13), 7) See all your trials as holy warfare and “glory in the holy strife”, 8) Shout praises to God in the middle of your trials, 9) See your trials as God equipping you to be able to comfort others that go thought the same trials you have with the comfort that God gave you when you were going thought them (2Cor 1:4), 10) Rejoice in all things knowing trials work patience, experience, and hope (Rom 5:3-5).

    Christian love and prayers,

    Bob.

  3. 3. Ruth Says:

    I find myself still angry at emotional, scary,violent (not physical or sexual) abuse suffered at the hands of my husband years ago. He has asked for forgiveness and seldom have any traces of the behavour happened since.
    Now, years later my middle age daughter is suffering emotional illness which goes back to these outbursts she witnessed as a child. As she relives them, speaks to me of them and tries to overcome her lack of trust and feelings of fear, her striving for perfection in case there will be repercussions and all the turmoil surrounding this, I find myself angry all over again with what he did and now how it has affected my daughter.
    I don’t want this anger. I want to trust him and accept him. He actually is now a wonderful man, but the memories persist as do the feelings. I’ve withdrawn from him. I go through all the day to day things that are expected, but something deep is missing in our relationship and he knows it. To tell him how I feel would just hurt him, and does reliving all of that really accomplish anything?
    I just want to be able to let it go…I wish I could forget…but that not being possible, to put it away somewhere so it won’t further haunt me and hurt me.
    My daughter must deal it in her own way. With God’s grace, hopefully we both can do what must be done.

  4. 4. Bob Mutch Says:

    Dear Ruth,

    My heart goes out to you and your child!

    I would suggest that you redirect your feelings of anger from your husband toward the devil and sin.

    Your husband, as are all people, was born with a disposition to behave wrong and sin. We see this in all very young children. Whether you call it a original sin, sinful nature, fallen nature, humanity, or what ever tag you put on it — it is a undeniable fact.

    Children don’t choice to act this way, they can’t help themselves. As people grow up, if they don’t find Christ and gain victory over sin and its devastating effects, they continue in a downward sprial and they hurt others as they go.

    The law experience is “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” — Rom 7:19-21

    This is a position all people that have come to the age of accountability find themselves in. Wanting to do good but not being able to do it. While their is a way out — “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2) — for some it takes a longer time to find this way out and the sad thing is only a few find it.

    Make sure wilful and known sin have no part in your life. If you have any known or wilful sin in your life renounce it, forsake it, repent of it, and go and sin no more. Internet sins, TV sins, smoking, drunkness, wilful selfishness, uncontained anger, lust, gossip, imodesty, grudges, hatred, or envy. Clean house and be clean. You will not be able to get victory over having anger toward your husband while you indulge in other known or wilful sins.

    After you as the vessel of the Lord are clean then help others to flee the commiting of wilful and known sin. Work for Jesus and do as much damage as you can to the kingdom of darkness.

    When you are tempted to have anger toward your husband go to prayer and in faith plead the power in the blood of Jesus to give you relief from that temptation and the feels that come with it. Cry out to Him as He cried out to the Father in the garden. Plead the blood, plead the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. Ask the Father to rebuke the power of darkness on your behalf. Cry out aloud.

    Then thank the Father for all the good He has done for you. For helping you to find the narrow way. For forgivness of sins. Worship him and adore Him in the beauty of holiness. Not your holiness but the imputed and IMPARTED holiness of Christ!

    After you find releave go and get yourself a handful of tracts and go downtown and pass them out. Go and visit an elderly person in the elderly people’s home and shower love over them. Bake a big batch of cookies to the glory of God and go and find the poor people in your town or the homeless people and give them out in the name of the Lord. Cookies from Jesus!

    As you go about doing good you are doing damage to the devils kingdom. Enter into the warfare, let the devil know you hate him and you are going to do him damage. Glory in the holy strife but at the same time keep humble and lowly and don’t get carried away. You must go in the power of His might!

    Feel free to drop back and give us a request for more prayer and a report of victory!

    Christian love and prayers,

    Bob.

  5. 5. Ruth Says:

    Thank you for your wise words. The following part of your reply….” Plead the blood, plead the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. Ask the Father to rebuke the power of darkness on your behalf. Cry out aloud.”….is what I did find myself doing. I find myself praying that the fullness of the cross of Christ….his shed blood, and his victory over sin be applied to my life and that of my husband and daughter. I have found some relief and progress.
    I too believe in really letting the enemy ‘have it’! I needed your reminder to really fight the enemy!

  6. 6. Self Storage Stockport Says:

    Completely agree with your comments on this – thanks for taking the time to post.

    [Editor: More comment spam from selfstoragetameside.co.uk -- link removed.]

  7. 7. Marc S Says:

    Hey Bob,

    Came across your article during my own research for a message on what the Bible has to say about anger. Thanks for the time you put into this.

    I’ve been working on this area in my life and thinking a lot about it, and something occurred to me while I was reading your article. At the beginning you defined anger this way: “Anger is a response to something that a person considers negative that has happened around them or to them.”

    This is certainly true, but it’s not enough. Sadness could also be defined by that same sentence. As could Jealousy, or even fear. The fact that something negative happened to me or near me isn’t sufficient to incite anger. It probably will incite something, but not necessarily anger.

    The distinction, I think, is this. Anger occurs when something happens which I consider – in my own private logic – to have violated me or someone/something I love. I say “in my own private logic” because my anger may be justified, or it may not be.

    For example, when my insurance company denies my coverage because of a loophole, I’m angry because I’ve been violated by a company who doesn’t keep their promises when it’s not financially in their interest. That anger is likely justified. My feeling of being violated, and the objective reality of my being violated are probably in agreement. But when that guy at Costco slips into the parking space that I was angling for, my anger isn’t justified. I still feel a pang of being violated because I’d decided that space was mine. But the internal feeling of being violated and the objective reality don’t line up.

    Thanks for your thoughts on how to deal with anger as well.

    M.

  8. 8. bob Says:

    Marc,

    <<<Anger is a response to something that a person considers negative that has happened around them or to them.

    That is information or a fact about anger more than a definition.

    Bob.

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