What Do You Know About Anger?

By Elaine Olson

What is Anger?

Anger is a God given emotion that warns you that something is wrong.  It’s like the light on the dashboard of your car.  Ignoring it will not make it go away.  Anger is the surface emotion, but underneath is hurt, pain, fear, frustration, resentment, disappointment, or loss.

 The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry . . .”  This verse reminds you that anger is not the sin, but how you respond when angry may be.  You are to deal with your anger each day so that it does not build up within you.

Proverbs 14:17 says, “A quick tempered man does foolish things.” You can learn how to take control of this emotion and NOT do foolish things!  As a result, you will improve your relationships and strengthen your character.

Do You Have an Anger Problem?

If you answer true to any of these questions, you may have an anger problem.

 T   F

I get angry often.

It’s hard for me to calm down.

I often blame others for my problems.

I’m easily irritated.

When I’m angry, I want revenge.

I argue a lot with other people.

I’m angry about my past.

I get angry if things don’t go my way.

I feel powerful when I’m angry.

Anger's Warning Signs

Below are some of the ways the body responds when you get angry: 

  • Clenched Jaw
  • Tense muscles
  • Churning stomach
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Raised voice
  • Red Face
  • Your own unique signals

Recognizing these as indicators that you are angry, or are getting angry, can be a great help in learning to control this intense emotion.  Catch yourself being angry and learn to react differently.  Don’t give in to angry outbursts or to shutting down and refusing to deal with the problem.

What Triggers Your Anger?

Pause for a moment and ask yourself, “What sets me off?”

  • I am embarrassed or feeling ignored.
  • Someone tells me what to do.
  • I don’t live up to my standards.
  • I’m criticized or insulted.
  • Someone lies to me.
  • People are late or waste my time.
  • I feel powerless.
  • My legitimate rights have been denied.
  • My children begin misbehaving.
  • People don’t respect me.

What's Your Anger Style?

The way you express anger is a choice you make.  No one can make you angry!  You choose to be angry!  Which of these four ways do you use to express your anger?

  • I don’t want anyone to know that I am angry so I put on a stoic front and pretend everything is fine.
  • I let everyone know that I’m mad.  I yell, blame, explode, intimidate, get sarcastic, and have very little sympathy for others.
  • I pout, procrastinate, promise to do things but don’t, become silent, or purposely do things to irritate people.
  • I confront the problem while considering the needs and feelings of others, as well as myself. I can say “no” to requests, or I can ask for help, if needed.  I try to speak in a constructive way, respecting others, while maintaining my self-control.

The first three are unhealthy, sinful ways of dealing with your anger.  The fourth one is what the Bible refers to as “speaking the truth in love,” (Ephesians 4:15).  It focuses on the problem and seeks solutions while following the instruction of Proverbs 15:1 to use soft words and avoid harsh ones that stir up anger.

Where Do You Start to Deal with Your Anger?

  • Pray for God to help you see your problem as it really is.
  • Admit it when you are angry.
  • Determine the source of your anger.  Is it fear, hurt, helplessness, loss, or other things?
  • Be aware of what you are thinking and telling yourself.  Do you have unrealistic expectations of yourself or others?
  • Admit your need for help in dealing with your anger.  Then, with God’s direction, go and find that help.

There is Hope!

You can learn to act rather than react to your life situations.  There are many books, tapes and videos that address anger management.  In addition, counseling can help you discover what your unique needs are and show you how to change harmful, sinful habits of the past.  Don’t let anger ruin your life!

Have you ever noticed  that if you put a “D” in front of “anger” you have “Danger?”

Schedule an Appointment Today

We are a team of experienced counselors that are here to help you. Our staff has a diverse set of abilities and specialties in order to assist clients with a wide variety of needs. To schedule an appointment or to get more information, please call our Hanover, PA office at 717.630.2255. (Learn more about our Christian counseling services).


Recommended Reading:


The Anger WorkbookThe Anger Workbook
By Les Carter / Thomas Nelson

Whether your anger is from tension at work, frustration at home, or just life in general, this workbook will help you modify the anger that keeps you from inner peace and contentment. Carter and Minirth, esteemed Christian counselors, walk you through a 13-step program of interactive exercises that will help you identify learned patterns of relating, thinking, and behaving that influence your anger.

MAke Anger Your AllyMake Anger Your Ally
By Neil Clark Warren, Ph.D. / Tyndale House

Learn how to make anger work for you rather than against you! With solid biblical principles and psychological insights, Dr. Warren shows you how to harness the energy of this powerful emotion---instead of resorting to suppression or denial. You'll discover creative and constructive ideas for coping with pain and resolving problems without aggression. 283 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

Be Angry (But Don't Blow It)Be Angry (But Don't Blow It)
By Lisa Bevere / Thomas Nelson

Are you ashamed of your anger? Bevere---who's battled cancer, an eating disorder, and tumultuous relationships---says painful feelings aren't wrong, but how we express them can be. Her scriptural prayers and personal examples will help you learn to channel passionate emotions constructively, and develop more honest relationships with God and those you love. 192 pages, softcover from Nelson.

For Parents and Those Who Work with Children:
Understanding and Teaching the Angry Child (video) by Ann Shorb


Read more of what Elaine Olson has written about dealing with anger.