Understanding Anger

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. – Micah 7:18

understandinganger.newlifeIs it wrong for you to be angry?  In other words, is anger a strictly negative emotion, and always an expression of sin?  Definitely not! Anger is a natural human emotion; a facet of the warning system God has built into our bodies to alert us of problems and prompt us to positive, problem-solving actions.

Furthermore, anger isn’t necessarily an expression of sin.  Jesus, the sinless Son of God, and the perfect man, expressed anger at several points in His ministry.  Jesus’ anger is perhaps most clearly seen when He drove the money-changers out of the Temple as seen in Matthew 21 and Mark 11.

It’s usually not our anger that gets us in trouble.  It’s what we do with our anger—where and how we direct it that we so often regret.  Remember, the Bible doesn’t say, “Don’t get angry.”  But it does say, “Be slow to anger.”

I challenge you, though, to consider what anger in your life is natural and healthy, which is sinful and destructive, and how best to direct your anger.

– Steve Arterburn

Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it. – Irving Berlin



  1. Excellent devotional, which many need to hear. A lot of individuals grow up thinking anger is a sin. I was one of those individuals. After being told so often as a young child, “don’t be mad”, “don’t get mad”, etc., I began to internalize these statements thinking anger is wrong, a sin. Too often in recovery/support groups I hear individuals implying that they have an anger problem that is sinful. The anger isn’t the sin: how they manage their anger determines whether anger is sinful. I think this principle needs to be communicated more in Christian circles, and elsewhere.

  2. Correction on my post: The sentence “The anger isn’t the sin: how they manage their anger determines whether anger is sinful.” would be better written, The anger isn’t sin; how one manages his/her anger determines whether he/she has sinned.

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