“But now you must stop doing such things. You must quit being angry, hateful, and evil. You must no longer say insulting or cruel things about others” (Colossians 3:8 CEV).
We’ll conclude our brief look at the subject of anger from Colossians 3:5 with some strategies for managing anger in a way that honors God.
When confronted by anger (legitimate or otherwise), its often helpful to disengage from the situation and respectfully approach God in prayer. We should be honest with God about the people and/or circumstances that have angered us and the reasons why. We can then ask for help in expressing those emotions constructively. We can do this as often as necessary, secure in the knowledge that God never tires of hearing from us even if it may seem as if we are discussing the same subjects repeatedly.
We might also ask for help in applying Scriptures like these…
“Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper–it only leads to harm” (Psalm 37:8 NLT).
“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness” (Proverbs 14:29 NLT).
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared” (Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV).
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing” (Mark 11:25 CSB).
“Let there be no more resentment, no more anger or temper, no more violent self-assertiveness, no more slander and no more malicious remarks, Be kind to each other, be understanding. Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32 Phillips).
Finally, there are several key questions that can help us recognize and distinguish between a legitimate expression of anger and something else…
“While an offending spouse, rebellious teen, or unfair boss can tempt (not cause) an anger response, you must ask yourself some key questions: Are you angry because of what the person did to you, or what he or she did to your Savior? Whom do you regard as the one most offended—you or Jesus?
In the midst of your heated emotion, are you consumed with yourself or with your God? Does your indignation arise because God’s name is dishonored, or because your pride has been hurt? Righteous anger arises because of the other person’s sin against God, not because of your personal hurts or vengeful desires.” (1)
(1) Robert D. Jones, Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem [Pg 39] P & R Publishing, 2005