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The Bible on Dealing With Anger

Anger can drive someone to commit sin. While feeling anger can't be avoided, what should Christians keep in mind so that anger doesn't get the best of us?


The Bible on Dealing with Anger

Host: It goes without saying that times have drastically changed, just within the last couple of years. Life today is filled with a whole new set of problems and dangers that have disrupted the peace of almost everyone’s everyday lives. These changing times have been testing the patience of many people. We can see that there are a lot of those who are finding it hard to control their own emotions, like feeling sad, afraid, or angry.

Brother Richie Juatco: Hello. I’m Brother Richie Juatco, and here with me in the studio here in San Francisco Bay Area is Brother Joe Velasquez. Hi, Brother Joe.

Brother Joe Velasquez: Hello, Brother Richie. It’s common now to see complete strangers and shouting matches and even physical altercations. It seems like being cordial with others is a thing of the past. Now, for those of us who want biblical guidance and advice on how to handle life’s changing situations, we’ll learn the proper way to handle our emotions and how to overcome anger as a Christian.

[Show Open]

Brother Richie: Brother Joe, is it wrong or against the Bible to get emotional or angry with our fellow man?

Brother Joe: Well, for that answer, Brother Richie, we turn to what is recorded here in Ephesians 4:26-27. And this is what we can read here:

“When you are angry don’t let that anger make you sin,” And don’t stay angry all day. Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you. 

[Ephesians 4:26-27 Easy-To-Read Version]

Brother Joe: Here we can see that becoming emotional or angry, per se, is not wrong. In fact, it’s a natural human response to events that might have provoked, hurt, or threatened us. However, we can also clearly see what would be wrong, if not handled correctly. It is wrong to let that anger make a sin, which is why the biblical instruction is: don’t let that anger make you sin.

Brother Richie: Now, just to be clear, Brother Joe, what exactly is sin—that we should not allow anything, including our own emotions to make us do or commit?

Brother Joe: Well, what is a biblical definition of sin? For that answer, we turn to what is written here in I John 3:4, and this is what is stated:

Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law, because sin is a breaking of the law. 

[I John 3:4 Good News Translation]

Brother Joe: So, sin is a breaking of the law. Therefore, no matter what we may be feeling or whatever emotion might be trying to overtake us, we are learning that the important thing to make sure of is we do not break any of God’s laws.

Brother Richie: So since being angry or emotional can lead us to [commit] sin, we would like to know what’s the instruction to help us escape that dangerous frame of mind?

Brother Joe: Well, we read it earlier, Brother Richie: “don’t stay angry all day.” And it’s also good to know: who actually wants us to break God’s law or commit sin?

How to overcome anger as a Christian

Brother Richie: Well, it is the devil. Now, if we do get upset or angry, we should not stew or brood in anger or extreme emotions because we are being taught: “don’t give the devil a way to defeat you.” Now, some might be thinking, well, that’s easier said than done. If my emotions are running so strong, well, how can I make sure that I won’t commit sin?

Brother Joe: So how can we respond?

Brother Richie: That’s a good question. To make sure that our emotions won’t overpower us from following God’s law in terms of our actions, what do true servants do? For that answer, we can go to what’s recorded in Psalm 119, we’ll read here in verse 11. It says: 

I have taken your words to heart [treasured/stored your words in my heart] so I would not sin against you

[Psalm 119:11 Expanded Bible]

Brother Richie: Here we can see giving value or taking to heart God’s words is necessary to prevent us from committing sin. If one treasures or stores God’s words in his heart, even though he might seem that he has uncontrollable emotions like anger, well, that’s not going to overpower him, causing him to sin.

Brother Joe: But is that the only instruction, Brother Richie? What else do we need to do?

Brother Richie: Well, we can continue to get our answers from what’s recorded. We’ll read here in Proverbs 4:23. It says: 

The most important thing is for you to be careful in the things you think. Your thoughts control your life

[Proverbs 4:23 Easy-to-Read Version]

Brother Richie: So, not only should we treasure God’s words, giving them importance—but also we are learning just how important it is to be careful in the things we think.

Brother Joe: Now, what kind of thoughts should we be careful and having?

Brother Richie: Brother Joe, we can read that same verse to answer that question, but we read it in a different translation. Again, will read what’s recorded in Proverbs 4:23. It says: 

Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life. 

[Proverbs 4:23 The Living Bible]

Brother Richie: To answer the question, here, we are taught to guard our affections so that the things that we choose—to like, admire, or appreciate should be something that we are careful about. If, for example, we like watching people argue, or be rude, or fight with each other, that will also influence us on how we respond to negativity from others.

Brother Joe: And we know the internet is filled with all kinds of different content that can influence our thoughts and ultimately, our actions.

Brother Richie: That’s true. And as you mentioned earlier, if we make sure that God’s words—His teachings and laws—are stored or embedded in our hearts while also keeping alert on our thoughts and desires. Being careful of what we allow to influence us, then we will be able to handle our emotions properly. Now, for those who are looking to do just that, but are finding it challenging to get a clear understanding of God’s words to use as a basis in life, how would we go about learning how to use God’s words accurately?

Brother Joe: Well, again, we turn to what is written now in the I Thessalonians 2:12, 8. And this is what the Bible says: 

We taught you and we helped you to be brave and strong as believers. And we told you very strongly what you must do. You must do what makes God happy. God has chosen you to belong to his own people, the people that he rules over. He wants you to be with him always, in the beautiful place where he lives… We cared so much for you, and you became so dear to us, that we were willing to give our lives for you when we gave you God’s message. 

[I Thessalonians 2:12 EasyEnglish, I Thessalonians 2:8 Contemporary English Version]

Brother Joe: Dear viewers here we can see that learning or understanding God’s words does not come by self-study, or dreams, or merely personal feelings or opinions.

In the first century, the Apostles were among those who taught and helped people to learn God’s words in order for them to be true and strong believers. So, this proves to us that when it comes to learning about how to use God’s words accurately in our life, well, not just any teacher will do. Rather, there are particular teachers authorized by God whom we should listen to.

Brother Richie: Brother Joe, how does the Bible describe those that accurately understood and believed in God’s words? Because of those authorized teachers or preachers?

Brother Joe: Well, God chose them to belong to His people.

How to deal with frustration Biblically

Brother Richie: Now, why did God choose and include among His people those that learn, as you said, from the apostles?

Brother Joe: It is because of what they were teaching the people. They said, “we gave you God’s message.” Now, what is God’s message to us today, as taught by the apostles, to help us in what we are discussing about controlling our emotions and how to deal with frustration biblically?

Brother Richie: Know we can read God’s instruction through the apostles. Well, read that here in Hebrews 12:2-3. It says this:

We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying. 

[Hebrews 12:2-3 Easy-To-Read Version]

Brother Richie: So according to what we’ve read, God’s instruction is “never stop looking to Jesus.”

Brother Joe: But what does that mean to never stop looking to Him?

Brother Richie: Well, this is what we read. It says, “Think about Jesus.”

Brother Joe: So Brother Richie, what should we think about or remember regarding our Lord Jesus Christ?

Brother Richie: Again, we read “He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him.” So, we know our Lord Jesus Christ, He went through that. But did He get revenge? Did He retaliate? Did He lash out? Did He ever allow His emotions or anger to make Him sin? We know that the answer is no.

Brother Joe: So what would happen if we think about what Christ went through and the example He left us in the moments when we are feeling weak, like our emotions are getting the best of us?

Brother Richie: The Bible says, “Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.” So no matter how bad the situation gets for true Christians, which let’s be honest, we’ll never be able to compare what we’re going through with the experiences of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we are learning now, we pattern our life and actions on the Lord Jesus Christ because, as the Scripture says, He is the leader of our faith. He is the one who makes our faith complete. 

Here’s a question, Brother Joe. Why are there those then who they do claim to be Christians yet they are the ones, the same ones that are rude to each other that they’re in shouting matches and physical altercations. What should we also be aware of that is happening today?

Brother Joe: For the answer, Brother Richie, let’s turn to the Holy Bible here in II Timothy 4:3-4 And this is what’s stated here: 

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, and will turn their ears away from the truth. And will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable]. 

[II Timothy 4:3-4 Amplified Bible (2015)]

Brother Joe: So Brother Richie, the biblical truth is that many people today are not able to properly handle themselves in life’s changing situation, because they don’t want sound doctrine, accurate instruction, or God’s truth. Now we hear a lot of different philosophies or ways of thinking like, ‘you do you” or “look out for number one,” or “the most important thing is just be true to yourself.” We can see now why being cordial with others seems like a thing of the past.

Brother Richie: And, as you mentioned earlier, Brother Joe, we have to remember that our emotions are a natural human response to things or events that happen to us in life. But these things should not dictate or control our actions.

Brother Joe: So if we truly want God’s help and His words to be our guide, what should be our approach to Him?

Brother Richie: Another approach we can use a prayer of God servant. We’ll read here in Psalm 25:1-2. We’ll also read 4-5, 17-18 as well. It says:

To you, O LORD, I offer my prayer; in you, my God, I trust… Teach me your ways, O LORD; make them known to me. Teach me to live according to your truth, for you are my God, who saves me. I always trust in you… Relieve me of my worries and save me from all my troubles. Consider my distress and suffering and forgive all my sins.

[Psalm 25: 1-2a, 4-5, 17-18 Good News Bible]

Brother Richie: So if we truly want God’s help so that we can handle these new set of problems and dangers and be able to control our own emotions effectively, let’s approach Him and request that He teach us His ways, teach us to live according to His truths.

Brother Joe: On behalf of all of us here at The Message, we would like to thank you for joining us today in our study of God’s words.

Brother Richie: We hope that you’ll continue to watch and be with us not only here, but even in our other programs of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ. But before we go. Please join us for a short prayer.

Our Heavenly Father, we thank You so much for allowing us to hear Your words, allowing us to receive the guidance that we need, especially with all the things that are happening currently.

We know that on our own we are weak. There are times our emotions might get the best of us, but we are grateful for Your guidance. Our God, we praise You and we worship Your name. We pray that all those that are viewing this program right now feel your mercy and compassion, that they continue to want to hear Your teachings through the Church Of Christ so that they’ll be able to know the truth and the message that You are giving to those that really are asking for Your help.

We ask that You forgive us of our mistakes, forgive us of our sins, help us that we will learn to be worthy of Your love and Your guidance. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, We also approach You asking that You please intercede on our behalf. Allow our prayers to reach our God in Heaven.

Our God, we return to You in our prayer. We thank You. We always ask that you bless all of Your people inside Your Church. Bless the Administration You have placed to use to guide us so that we will all be united under Your care and protection. We ask for all these things through the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


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The Bible on Dealing With Anger