What is the Bible saying about handling anger attitudes?
Philippians 2:2–8 is clear about changing our attitude when it comes to anger. “Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:2–8)
- Have the goal to be like-minded with Christ (v2)
- Do not think of yourself first (v3)
- Give the other person preferential treatment (v3)
- Consider the other person’s interests (v4)
- Have the attitude of Jesus Christ (v5)
- Do not emphasise your position or rights (v6)
- Look for ways to serve with a servant’s heart (v7)
- Speak and act with a humble spirit (v8)
- Be willing to die to your own desires (v8)
What is the Bible saying about addressing your anger?
- Determine whether your anger is really justified. Proverbs 21:29 “A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways.”
- Decide on the appropriate response. Ecclesiastes 3:7 “[There is] a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.” How important is the issue? Would a good purpose be served if I mention it? Should I acknowledge my anger only to the Lord?
- Depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance. John 16:13 “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
- Develop constructive dialogue when you confront. Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Don’ts concerning Anger…
- Don’t speak from a heart of unforgiveness.
- Don’t use phrases such as: “How could you?” or “Why can’t you?”
- Don’t bring up past grievances.
- Don’t assume that the other person is wrong.
- Don’t expect instant understanding.
Do’s concerning Anger…
- Think before you speak.
- Use personal statements such as “I feel.…”
- Stay focused on the present issue.
- Listen for feedback from another point of view.
- Be patient and keep responding with gentleness.
“Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.” (Proverbs 25:15)
Demonstrate the grace of God, by saying to yourself …
- “I placed my anger on the cross with Christ.”
- “I am no longer controlled by anger.”
- “I am alive with Christ living inside me.”
- “I will let Christ forgive through me.”
- “I will let Christ love through me.”
- “I will let Christ reveal truth through me.”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)