This article was written and published by Faith in Recovery
Everyone gets angry sometimes.
It’s normal. But many people struggle with a constant feeling of anger and rage, either towards themselves or others. When left unchecked, these feelings can lead us to do things that we later regret. People in addiction recovery often struggle with anger because they are ashamed or upset at themselves for their past behavior. As a Christian drug rehab, we understand that to overcome guilt and shame, you must address feelings like anger head-on. To help those in recovery from addiction and battling with anger, we’re sharing some of the best Bible verses for anger management.
What the Bible Says About Anger
According to the Bible, anger occurs when our desires rule us. These desires can include love, fear, hope, longing, respect, control, and more. When any desire, even well-intentioned ones, takes precedence over our desire to please God, things get out of hand. When our desires take over and aren’t met, we become angry. So basically, the root of our anger is our desires. In James 4:1 to 3, it reads, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James had the right idea. Here, he was pointing out that when our desires are not fulfilled the way we want them to be, we act out in anger.
In James 1: 13 to 16, it’s also written, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.” It’s common for people to place the blame on God and others when they’re angry. “Why are you doing this to me? What did I do to deserve this?” Oftentimes, we’re the instigators of our own problems. As James wrote, God never tempts us, but rather it’s our desires that sway our emotions and behaviors.
God also talks about anger in these Bible verses: “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil” (Psalm 37:8) and, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.” (Proverbs 14:29). He wants us to understand that acting out in anger often ends in sin and “great foolishness.” People have been hurt by their loved ones, lied to, and even killed as a result of anger and rage. In the case of a person who struggled with addiction, anger can easily lead to relapse. If you’re still struggling with drug cravings or close to relapse, our stabilization program at Faith in Recovery can help you stay on track.
Bible Verses to Calm Anger
It’s important to remember that, contrary to popular belief, anger itself is not a sin. Rather, it’s how we manage our anger that determines whether or not we sin. There are plenty of instances of anger in the Bible that were not followed by sinful actions. Even Jesus has felt angry. For example, in Mark 3:5, Jesus was angry with the Pharisees due to the hardness of their hearts. Yet, He was not vengeful or hateful but rather carried on his work of healing and allowed them to absorb what they may. Even so, many anger issues in the Bible were followed by sinful actions and behaviors, which lead to a whole other mess of problems.
If you’re struggling with anger in addiction recovery, you may feel angry towards yourself or your loved ones for not being there to support you. You may also have been struggling with anger since you first started using drugs or drinking, and now it’s time to manage it. If you’re in this situation, below are some anger management verses in the Bible that can mentally and spiritually bring you back to focusing on God and slowly help you overcome anger.
Ephesians 4:26 – 27: Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
James 1:19 – 20: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Proverbs 29:11: A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
Ecclesiastes 7:9: Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
Proverbs 15:1: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Ephesians 4:31-31: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Luke 6:31: Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Psalm 4:4: Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
Proverbs 14:16 – 17: The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.
Although there are plenty of Bible verses to calm down anger, it’s not enough to just read these verses. You have to find ways to apply them to your life. For instance, Proverbs 14:16-17 reads, “The wise are cautious and avoid danger….” This means that you need to be wise about the situations you put yourself in. If you received alcohol treatment and you’re struggling with the desire to drink, don’t go to a club or a party where you know alcohol will be abundant. While it’s not guaranteed to be easy, God can help you overcome anything.