AS A CHRISTIAN IS IT OKAY TO GET ANGRY?
Is it okay to be happy as a Christian? Is it okay to be sad as a Christian? Is it okay to be excited as a Christian? Is it okay to be Confused as a Christian? If your answer to these questions are yes, then my answer is yes to the question if it is okay to get angry as a Christian.
But how? You may ask. Anger is like any other emotion you can feel as a human being. There are different definitions that exist of anger, however, it is an emotion that is probably best described. It is an intense feeling of emotional hurt that arises for a variety of reasons ranging from helplessness, mistreatment, opposition, neglect, unfair treatment, and so on. It usually triggers a desire to cause the other person pain in a bid to alleviate one’s pain.
The big question here is not whether getting angry is permissible as a Christian but rather what you do when you get angry. What do you do when you feel anger rising inside you? Shout? Become Violent and Physical? Or are you the type to not show outward signs but react in other ways that are equally deadly? Like Silent treatment or random outbursts? Or do you ponder upon it in your heart and allow it fester till it becomes a source of bitterness and resentment towards that person?
Do you allow your anger control you and eventually lead you to sin? Anger is not a sin itself but it can become an instrument that leads to sin. Anger if not controlled, can lead to disastrous consequences. Anger can be likened to a fire that is produced when you strike a matchstick, the fire it produces can be used to light up a gas stove and then used cook a meal. That same light from the matchstick can set a house on fire if uncontrolled and destroy everything in sight.
What do you feed you anger?
The destructive impact of acting on anger negatively can be seen in GENESIS 4: 5 (NLT) thus;
“but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.”
Cain got angry because God accepted his brother’s gift and rejected his. He fanned the flames of that anger and acted negatively on it, which eventually led him to murder his brother and to his exile. He had the choice of reflecting on his actions which led to the rejection of his gift and could have repented for his shortcomings, but he chose to feed his anger with bitterness, envy and hate.
Also in 1 SAMUEL 18:8 (NLT);
“This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!”
Saul also got angry because of his jealousy towards David, this led him to persecute David and ultimately led to his own death.
Do you have challenges with restraining your anger? Do you get overwhelmed with anger? Does your anger lead you to sin? Do you feel like you lack control over your anger and like Apostle Paul in Romans 7: 15 where he said;
“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”
Fear not, for the word of God in Philippians 4: 13 KJV says;
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
You are not a lost cause, through the working of the holy spirit that dwells in you, you can control your anger.
As a Christian and child of God these are steps that can aid you control your anger;
- Examine yourself and identify if you struggle with controlling your anger. You have to acknowledge that you have that challenge. Luke 5: 31 (NLT) says: “Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”
- Identify the source of that anger/things that trigger you.
- Avoid those thing/walk away from such situations. After you have identified the things or situations that trigger your anger, where it is possible, walk away from such situations and avoid such things.
- Study the word and renew your mind: The word of God is the source of life. Study the word of God and speak it with faith consistently. Romans 12:2 (NLT) says;
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
One of the ways to know the will of God and to be transformed is to study the word of God.
- Pray about it and yield to the holy spirit: Pray about it God, lay it at the feet of Jesus, yield to the holy spirit and allow God to take control and work on your emotions.
- Forgive and Forget: if the anger that constantly overwhelms and rules your life is because of an injustice done to you or a situation you have faced, forgive the person and let go. Don’t remember the offence. Ephesians 4: 26-27 (Good news Translation) says:
“If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Don’t give the Devil a chance”
This is the word of God to you, if/when you become angry, do not let your anger lead you to sin, don’t stay angry for long. If you hold on to the anger and brood, you are opening the door for the Devil to lead you to temptation to sin. Do whatever can help you cool off such as; walking away, taking a stroll, singing a song. You can talk the person after you have calmed down in a constructive manner.
Importantly, pray to God to take away every feeling of anger. It can go like this
“Dear Jesus, I am very angry at this situation/person, please take away this feeling of anger and fill my heart with your peace which surpasses human understanding”
Feel free to add your own words.
Anger can be used positively, it can motivate us to fight against injustice in the society, good examples are the protests against extra judicial killings of innocent citizens by the police, campaigns against sexual abuse and so on. Anger has led to the end of harmful practices such as slavery, Female Genital Mutilation, and so on. This shows that anger can be channeled to positive use.
Therefore, do not feed anger or dwell on it and be consumed with it, rather, you can channel it to a positively and to give glory to God. There are several instances in the bible where feelings of anger were used constructively;
Mark 3: 4-5
“Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored.
Here, we see Jesus was angry at his critics for placing legality over compassion. He did not scream at them or get physical with them, rather he directed that anger towards healing the man.
Also in LUKE 14:21 NIV;
“The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”
The Master was angry that his friends refused to come for a banquet for silly reasons. He directed the anger to helping and feeding other people who are ignored by the society in who were in need instead of brooding.
Disciplining yourself when you get angry can help you develop Godly virtues such as patience and forgiveness.
It is also important to be slow to anger which means to be patient and forgiving, don’t indulge every impulse you feel and react. Resentment and anger when acted upon negatively cannot produce fruit that Glorifies Good, we fall short of the expectations of God when we act on our anger. James 1:19-20 (AMP) has this to say;
“Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us].”
Proverbs 16:32 says:
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
In conclusion, as Christians, getting angry is not a sin, but if you act on that anger, it can lead you to commit sin. Psalm 37:8 (NLT) says;
“Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.”
How? You might struggle with controlling your temper, but the word of God in 2 COR 12:9 says;
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Depend on Jesus, he is able to turn every situation around for good. For with God nothing shall be impossible. (LUKE 1:37):