Your brother or sister gets mad at you again. Your best friend says some harsh words. Your parents go on a rant against you. Dealing with angry people can be hard and quite honestly annoying sometimes, especially if they are always angry or you didn’t really do anything. My question is, how do we deal with them? More specifically, how does God want us to deal with them and does the Bible talk about it?
In this next section we will take the time to discover the answers to each of these questions.
It all began that spring. Flowers were blooming, trees were turning green again and spring-cleaning had begun. You may be familiar with the season. Life is breathed back into the earth and the whole earth begins to warm from its chilly winter slumber.
While I have never considered myself much of a gardner…the only plant I ever got I killed… my friend Logan and I decided to clean out a patch of land around my house and grow some real plants. Why not? I often attempt to try something new, so this spring, Logan and I decided to try something new together.
The first day went well. Not as I had expected, but well. I guess you could say I had no idea how much work goes into a garden. You’ll understand if you have ever tried such an endeavor before. Anyway, after one whole day of us both digging and turning soil, we had barely cleared all the weeds from the patch of land in which we desired to give a facelift. That was okay though; we had all weekend. It would be fantastic!
The next day, we decided that while working on the garden we would also try our handiwork with tree and bush trimming. So while I kept on plugging away, Logan drove out to Home Depot to get us some new trimmers. I think you call them clippers. Still not too sure, which should be a clue as to how this garden experience turned out. Anyway, an hour later he returned with the best pair he could find. I was moderately amused. I mean, lets be real. It’s a garden tool, but he was super excited so I let him show me the ins and outs of this new tool.
I guess you could say, I understood his excitement His father, a contractor by trade, had all sorts of fun tools, always got excited about a new one and wanted to show everyone! Soooooo, while he showed me, I appeared very engaged. It was pretty cool. He had been thoughtful when picking them out. I mean, a whole hour to pick them; you better believe he took his time. But it was sweet really. He had picked out a pair that extended, so I could reach the taller branches. I guess I am a little short and he is a little taller. It was kind of him to think of me, so when he offered to let me use them, I quickly agreed.
After a while I got tired, or bored, or something like that. One or the other, I forget, so I decided I would head inside to grab some water or go harass Logan for a little bit, see what he was up to. Without thinking I took these new trimmers and shoved them nose first into the ground just as Logan turned the corner to watch me do it.
I have never seen his face get so red so fast. An innocent act and fury took over him. You see what I didn’t realize, not growing up in a contractor’s home, is that tools are precious, a priceless gem that should be taken care of, cleaned, sharpened, loved and never ever, ever shoved into the ground, left on the driveway or in the grass to rust. I had broken a cardinal rule after he had been so thoughtful and I hadn’t even realized it.
I had two choices here. I could quickly and sincerely apologize, fully realizing my blatant error, evident because of the way it was written on his face, or I could pretend I had no idea why he was upset, tell him to calm down and walk away. Demonstrating great wisdom, I chose the second option, which only infuriated him more…
I guess you could say this is an example of what not to do. For some better wisdom let’s open up Scripture and see what it has to say about dealing with angry people, how we should act, and what we should leave to God, as clearly what I choose to do on that beautiful spring morning was not the correct response.
When we look at this passage it could sound a little confusing. What was so great about this vineyard? Why didn’t the king just take it? Is his wife allowed to forge his signature? It all seems a little shady at parts, but read on. Notice who is in charge of justice in this passage. It can be tempting to get even with people who are always angry at us for no reason or want to take advantage of us, try to control us with their anger; but justice isn’t our job. It is God who decides those things.
It does not end there though. In this case, God decided to speak up, to do something about the horrible crimes Ahab and Jezebel committed, but sometimes God does not. How are we to act then? Read on to the Supporting Scripture to see what else God asks of us when others get angry.
We praise you for the ways that you are working in our lives. Teach us to be more like you. Teach us to forgive whole-heartedly, to give more than what is asked of us and help us to remember it is not our job to get even. You are the judge, not us. May we walk the path you have laid out for us faithfully as we continue on. Bless us with your wisdom, guide us as we walk, and help us to see people for who they really are, sometimes angry, sometimes hurting or full of joy, but always in need of you.
Thank you for your love.
We pray all these things in Jesus’ powerful name,
An important part of dealing with anger is understanding anger and the process that people go through when dealing with anger. While the example is of a husband and wife, it’s the same basic principle no matter what the situation. Understand where your angry friend is coming from, and you understand how to deal with them better. Check out these eight forces of anger found at: http://www.bible-teaching-about.com/anger.html and see if you can take some things away from part of this article.
Eight Forces of Anger
1. First, there is the idea of intention. If we think someone is intentionally doing something wrong or unfair, it stirs the anger cauldron. In our example, the husband assumed the wife somehow deliberately planned to go over the limit on the credit card. It was no accident.
2. Second, there is the sense of someone doing something wrong, or violating some sacred law or rule. In this case, the husband had concluded his wife had blown the budget, and maxed out the card. In his mind, that was downright horribly wrong.
3. Third, we burn to retaliate. We hear the words often, “I’m going to get even with them.” We want to punish and penalize in order to prod the erring one into right behavior, as we view “right.” Our angry husband was going to go buy himself a new computer to get even with his wayward wife.
However, The Apostle Paul asserts, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
4. Fourth, labeling spews forth. This is swearing or cursing the other person. In our example, the husband called his wife an “idiot,” when in real life it probably was much worse. As explained in my detailed ebook on anger management, the basic dynamic at work is this. If we can dehumanize the other person and make them inferior to us, then their pain is not as important as ours. It gives the husband the superior stance, because she is just an “idiot,” which means that his judgment is much greater than hers. It justifies lashing out at her.
5. Fifth, mind reading clouds the picture. This is jumping to conclusions about the motives and thoughts of the other person. It is deadly to assume we know why other people do what they do. Actually, the wife may have had a good reason to buy the new dress. Perhaps she was going on a job interview so she could earn enough money to pay down the credit card.
6. Sixth, angry people magnify the problem. We can hear it in the word, “It’s awful, horrible, terrible, and I cannot stand it.” Not many things in life are horrible. Probably the most horrible is dying and not going to heaven to be with Christ. But a dress? Come on! It might be foolish and irresponsible, but it is not even close to what our guy, Jeff, said, “That is horribly wrong.”
7. Seventh, “should” thoughts fan angry emotion into a hot flame. When we demand that people “should” do this or that, it is always from our own personal list of rules or value system. The problem is that we all have different sets of personal “rights and wrongs.” When we dump our expectations onto other people, and they don’t accept them, then we make ourselves angry.
8. Eight, the foundation of anger is entitlement. Somehow we humans are wired to believe that we are entitled to be treated kindly, gently, fairly, lovingly, honestly, and wisely in our dealing with life. When we are jolted with the fact that life in this very troubled and wayward world is not always kind, gentle, fair, loving, honest, and fair, then we agitate ourselves to anger. When we insist on a perfect world, then we insist on the impossible.
The Bible teaching about being angry teaches that it is an honest, real, and basic emotion, but that it can and must be managed. Knowing the dynamics is the starting place. But, there are many more tools available that are explained in my ebook. Our friend would do well to cool it, forget the computer, and repair the damage he did to his wife. Paul was right, “Be angry, and yet do not sin.”
There are three things we can do with our anger:
1. We can express it.
When anger is out of control, it does great damage. When we become so angry that we want to lash out at someone and hurt them, we are sinning deeply. We call this "losing our temper." Sometimes we think that we show how strong we are when we lose our temper, but losing our temper is a sign of weakness, not strength. The Bible says,
“Keep your temper under control; it is foolish to harbor a grudge.”
2. We can suppress it.
To suppress anger is to keep it inside. Some people lose their temper and express their anger openly. Others have the same angry feelings but manage to keep them bottled up inside.
Anger that is bottled up or kept inside of us hurts and keeps on hurting. It turns to resentment and bitterness, and it can bring on depression as well as many kinds of physical illnesses.
3. We can confess it.
The best way to handle angry feelings is to tell God about them. This is a way to "let off steam" without sinning. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and we will always find him to be understanding.
Just being in God's presence helps to calm us. It also helps us to see things in their proper perspective. Many times we discover that the thing we were disturbed about was not really so important after all.
Happy are those whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned.
Happy is the one whom the Lord does not accuse of doing wrong and who is free from all deceit.
When I did not confess my sins, I was worn out from crying all day long.
Day and night you punished me, Lord; my strength was completely drained, as moisture is dried up by the summer heat.
Then I confessed my sins to you; I did not conceal my wrongdoings. I decided to confess them to you, and you forgave all my sins.
For more where this was taken from visit:
James 1:19-25, read this passage. What can you pull from it?
Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. Human anger does not achieve God's righteous purpose. So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.
Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like. But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.
One of the things I love about this passage is the reminder that it gives each of us. If God has told us to love those who have angered us and to forgive those who have hurt us then we have to do it! Anyone can know the things that God desires for us to do, but actually doing those things, living them out…totally different.
Remember this passage; live out God’s word today.
Luke 6: 37-38 - Do not judge others, instead forgive them as Christ has forgiven you. God will bless you for being faithful.
Luke 6:27-31 - Even when others take things from you, give them more. Turn the other cheek, do for others what you would want for yourself.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 - Even when others hurt you, keep your temper under control.
Romans 12:17-21 - POWERFUL! A perfect summary of how we should act when others try to hurt us. The Lord will take care of judgment; we are to conquer evil with good!
James 1:19-21 - Do not be angry; submit yourself to God, even when others are upset.
Kindergarten Cop - The substitute teacher doesn’t know how to control the situation and yells “Shut up!” at kindergarteners! How could the teacher have responded differently to the situation?
The Lorax: The Lorax has come to the Once-ler one last time to try to stop him from cutting down all the trees, but the Once-ler just gets angry that the Lorax is back. I like the very end of this scene though. What do you think is going through the Once-ler’s head when that last tree is cut down? Do you think the situation would have turned out differently had the Lorax approached him with anger? Check it out!
Check out this movie clip! Sometimes when others are angry, we try to help…and sometimes…it just does not work out well for us.