Stop & Think: Nothing Good Comes From Human Anger

Anger is a powerful emotion that can be difficult to control. Sometimes it starts small and grows like a noxious weed. Other times it explodes out of nowhere and surprises us. Nothing good comes from human anger.

When my son was in elementary school, his teacher used a stoplight to help him with anger and impulse control. If things were going well, the light would be green. If a situation started to get heated, the light would turn red alerting him to stop in his tracks. After avoiding an impulsive reaction that could’ve ended in disaster, the light would turn yellow allowing him to proceed with caution. This technique helped him learn to recognize anger and check it before it got out of control.

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Honestly, many adults could benefit from this approach. To recognize when anger starts to simmer and stop it before it boils over. To not react in the moment. To give our emotions a chance to cool down before we proceed.

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. – James 1:19-20 NLT

The Bible warns us of the many ways that anger gets us into trouble.

Anger causes us to sin. (Proverbs 29:22)

How often do we act badly in an angry moment? An impulsive reaction to something that ticks us off causes us to do and say things we normally would not.

Anger makes us subject to judgment. (Proverbs 19:19, Matthew 12:36)

Impulsive, angry reactions not only hurt the benefactor of our rage, but leave us with the consequences of our temper tantrum. We are left with a mess that can be difficult to clean up, and Jesus warned that we will be held responsible for every careless word we speak.

Anger demonstrates foolishness. (Proverbs 14:17)

Short-tempered people do foolish things. I know I’ve looked back on some of my own angry outbursts with embarrassment. When we fly off the handle we look like a fool, not a child of God.

Anger starts fights. (Proverbs 15:18)

As Christians, we are supposed to be peacemakers not fight starters. Anger escalates and an angry, impulsive response from us will be returned in kind.

Anger destroys other people. (Galatians 5:15)

An angry outburst at someone else’s expense is difficult to undo. People are hurt and relationships are destroyed.

Anger gives a foothold to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27)

Since anger hurts us and hurts others, the devil loves to see it rear its ugly head. When we hold a grudge, harbor resentment, and cultivate anger he wins.

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. – Psalm 4:4 NLT

If we learn to control our anger and stop and think before we react we will be able to wisely consider what we can do instead.

We can be kind. (Ephesians 4:32)

Even in infuriating circumstances, choosing to be kind can change the whole outcome. It will not only soften our hearts but will often do the same for others.

We can forgive. (Colossians 3:13)

Consider how terribly our sin has offended God and yet He has so forgiven us. Our right response is to forgive people who offend us even when it’s not easy to do.

We can control our temper and overlook wrongs. (Proverbs 19:11)

Stop and think. Don’t react in anger. Instead of harboring resentment or seeking revenge, we can overlook wrongs. We are not responsible for the actions of others, but we are responsible for our response.

We can diffuse the situation. (Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 17:14)

Instead of adding fuel to an already heated situation, we can slow the burn or stop the fire with a gentle answer or by just walking away.

We can pay people back with a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9-11)

Imagine the impact we would have if we blessed instead of retaliated. This is precisely what God has called us to do. We are called to turn away from evil and do good and to search for peace and maintain it.

We can leave it to God. (Romans 12:19)

Sometimes its hard not to respond with anger, especially when we have truly been mistreated. But even then God calls us to a higher standard. Fortunately, we can depend on His love and justice to one day right the scales.

Nothing good comes from human anger. It is a tool the devil uses to damage relationships and decay our body and our spirit. Being slow to anger takes that power away from him.

Thank you for following me on my journey through the Bible. Mom’s Devotions blog is moving to a new home. Please follow me at to continue to receive updated content.

Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:20

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