Nine Bible Verses About Anger
to Help You Regain Control

Why should we keep these Bible verses about anger in mind?

What do you do when you get angry?  Do you yell?  Do you pout?  Do you get quiet?  Do you struggle with controlling your temper?  

There are hundreds of Bible verses about anger.  God is characterized as loving, merciful and gracious.  But He is also a God who can be angered.  

David pleaded, “O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure”  (Ps. 6.1).  There is a reason why the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11.22, “Therefore consider the goodness and the severity of God.”  

As God’s creation, created in the very image of God, we are also people who experience the emotion of anger.  The Bible tells us that there are circumstances where anger is an appropriate reaction.  We should get angry when we see the injustices and sin in this world.  

We also learn that anger is something that is to be controlled.  We are never to get angry without a cause.  And we are never to allow ourselves to lose control of our temper and do things that God does not want us to do.  

Maybe these nine Bible verses about anger can help you learn about how God sees anger, and how to help get control of your feelings of anger.

Bible Verses About Anger That Needs to be Controlled

1.  Ephesians 4.26: “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath"

You might find it interesting to know that the words “be angry” in this passage is in the form of an imperative.  That means that it is a command. 

There are times when we are expected to get angry.  Do you react to injustices with indifference?  Do you respond to people being mistreated with a shrug of the shoulder?  Do you see people disrespect God and His word and dismiss it?  This passage says that there are times when we need to be anger.  We are to “be anger.”  

The verse then goes on to say, “do not sin.”  We are to be angry, but we are not to allow our anger to move us to act in a way that is wrong. 

Do you get angry and then mistreat someone?  Do you get angry and withhold your affection from someone you do not feel deserves it?  We are to be angry, but we are not to sin in the process of expressing our anger.  

The verse then says, “do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”  Simply put, we are not to have prolonged anger such as holding a grudge.  

2.  Ephesians 4.31,21:  "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."

This is in the same context as the previous verse (Eph. 4.26).  If you are being mistreated by someone, it is natural to react out of anger and want to hurt them back.  This verse tells us not to do that.  Instead of hurting them back out of anger, we are to put anger and wrath aside and be forgiving.  

3.  James 1.19,20:  “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.”

We all occasionally lose our temper.  Some have a lower threshold than others.  It takes some a lot longer to get angry than others.  But we all eventually get there.  

James 1.19,20 tells us to do three things.

  • Be swift to hear.  Sometimes we get angry because we have not taken time to listen.
  • Be slow to speak.  Being slow to speak doesn’t mean that you don’t respond at all.  It means that you take the time to think about the appropriate way to respond.
  • Be slow to wrath.  Why should you be slow to wrath?  If you are quick to be angry, you may not be inclined to listen.  If you get angry, you may not be slow to speak but quickly lash out with your words.  

Why do you need to be slow to anger?  Because it does not produce the righteousness of God.  The idea is that being angry will not make you into the person that God wants you to be. 

Consider the next Bible verse about anger.

4.  Psalm 103.8:  “The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy."

Right after addressing anger in Ephesians 4, the very next chapter tells us to “be imitators of God”  (Eph. 5.1).  The point is that we are not to lash out in anger.  Instead, we are to handle being mistreated the way God handles it.  How does God handle it?  

Psalm 103.8 tells us that He is merciful, gracious, and slow to anger.  This is the way we are to be. 

Bible Verses About Anger that is Unjustified

5.  Jonah 4.4:  “Then the LORD said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 

This is in a context of Jonah being angry with God.  Why was he angry?  God told him to call on the city of Nineveh to change their ways or die  (Jonah 1.2; 3.4).  

Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian nation, the enemy of Israel.  Jonah did not want to preach to them for one reason.  He knew that if Nineveh changed, then God would spare them.  Except Jonah did not want his enemies spared.  

After being swallowed by the big fish, Jonah agreed to obey God and preach to Nineveh.  Nineveh did change, and God spared them.  This made Jonah angry  (Jonah 4.1,2).  This led God to ask him, “Is it right for you to be angry?”  (Jonah 4.4).

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if our anger is justified.  Do we have the right to be angry? Or is our anger unjustified?

Then consider this Bible verse about anger.

6. Matthew 5:22 “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.”

In this passage, Jesus makes the same point that was made to Jonah, but in a less subtle way.  Jesus simply tells us that if we are angry with a brother without a cause, we will be in danger of the judgment.  

Is this not reason enough to learn to control our temper?

Bible Verses About Anger that Causes Problems

Anger whether it is justified or not needs to be a controlled anger.  It should never cause us to do something that is sinful  (Eph. 4.26).  If we let our anger get out of control, it can do some real damage.  

The following anger Bible verses emphasize the danger of uncontrolled anger.

7.  Proverbs 22.24,25:  “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.”

Attitudes are contagious.  Have you ever met someone who was angry all the time?  There was always something that provoked their anger.  They were angry at the world.  Do you find that you just don’t want to be around this individual?  

This is a verse that warns us about being around someone who is angry all the time.  If you are around someone who is constantly angry, you will become an angry person.  

Then consider this verse...

8.  Ecclesiastes 7.9:  “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.”

The Bible concept of “fool” is not someone who has no intelligence.  A fool in the Bible is characterized as someone who has no regard for God  (Ps. 14.1).  

God does not want us to be quick to anger.  This Bible verse on anger warns us that someone who is quick to become angry is one who does not give consideration to God and how He feels.  

9.  Psalm 37.8:  “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.”

It has been said that anger is like acid.  It does more harm in the container than to the object on which it is poured.  Anger causes harm.  It takes a lot of time and good will to form a lasting friendship.  It only takes one act of anger to destroy it.  

All of these anger Bible verses remind us of the harm that can be caused when we do not get our temper under control. 

If you are struggling with your tempter, write these Bible verses about anger down on a post-it note.  Stick it on your computer monitor.  Write them out on a sheet of paper and read them every time you feel your temper flare.  

Let these Bible verses on anger sink into your heart and help you regain control.  

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