10 Important Things Your Anger Is Trying to Tell You

10 Important Things Your Anger Is Trying to Tell You

Did you know that some people actually see the color red when consumed by anger? As the emotion intensifies, areas of the brain respond, producing all kinds of physical reactions. Unfortunately, in most cases, anger does not produce anything beneficial. In fact, the Bible says that man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires (James 1:20).

Although there is a form of righteous anger, the kind displayed by Jesus in Matthew 21, when He overturned the tables in His Father’s house, it is not the common form of anger we usually see and experience. When anger persists, there are often warning signs that something needs to change. Here are 10 important things your anger is trying to tell you.

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  • 1. You need a break.

    1. You need a break.

    If you find that you’re dealing with an underlying sense of anger, much like a simmering pot of water getting ready to boil, it’s a good indication you need a break. Even if you don’t think you can afford to get away, do everything you can to take a short sabbatical. A couple of days of rest can prove to be highly beneficial in breaking the cycle of consistent anger. The truth is, this is a warning sign that says you can’t afford not to take a break.

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

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  • 2. You are stuck in a bad habit.

    2. You are stuck in a bad habit.

    Is it possible that you learned anger growing up, or somehow got into the habit of letting anger be your default emotion? Whatever the case, a bad anger habit can be broken. The first step is to get real with God and yourself. Admit that anger is an unwanted habit. Then ask God to break the chains of this habitual emotion.

    “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

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  • 3. You are worried.

    3. You are worried.

    Sometimes, anger rears its ugly head when we are actually fretting about something. Instead of admitting our worry or fear, we display anger as a defense mechanism. It will take a lot of prayer and a willingness to be vulnerable to break this cycle. You may find it helpful to write down your deepest worries Then you can identify the ways in which you are letting anger take the place of it.

    “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Matthew 6:25-27

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  • 4. You are focused on the external.

    4. You are focused on the external.

    Focusing on the external—your physical appearance, achievements, and worldly success—can actually fuel anger, making you feel the need to constantly prove yourself. You may strive to show that you are capable and qualified, but, when you feel any sense of rejection, you turn to anger as a reaction. The Bible reminds us to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Galatians 5 is a wonderful place to start when dealing with fleshly anger.

    “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Galatians 5:16-17

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  • 5. You are trying to control others.

    5. You are trying to control others.

    Trying to control others almost always instigates feelings of anger. It may be difficult to admit, but when people don’t do what we want them to do, it makes us really angry. However, it’s important to remember that we have no control over anyone but ourselves. We can become mad and insist that someone do what we want, but in the end, that is not a godly way to interact with others. Communication is KEY in letting go of control. Instead of getting angry, talk it over immediately, in a calm, controlled manner.

    “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

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  • 6. You aren’t trusting God.

    6. You aren’t trusting God.

    Deep down, seeds of anger are often planted by unbelief. You may argue that fact, especially if you love the Lord and seek to trust Him. But if we’re completely honest, many of our anger responses can be connected to a lack of trust. Perhaps you’ve had these thoughts of unbelief:

    I should have known God wouldn’t come through.

    God let me down, now I can’t trust Him.

    The Lord knew I wanted that. He must not really care.

    Don’t let unbelief trigger anger in you. Instead, cry out, “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

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  • 7. You aren’t dealing with problems immediately.

    7. You aren’t dealing with problems immediately.

    The Bible is clear that we are not to let the sun go down while we are still angry, and there’s a perfect reason for it. Allowing anger to continue invites the enemy to gain a foothold. After all, Satan is always going to jump on the opportunity to add fuel to the fire.

    Deal with your problems as quickly as you can. Don’t let them fester and plant seeds of resentment. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by holding grudges. Speak up, forgive, and let go of the things that allow anger to get out of hand.

    “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27

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  • 8. You are spending too much time on media.

    8. You are spending too much time on media.

    Television, social media, video games, and even news radio can really mess with our emotions. The images and messages we receive from media on a daily basis can set the tone for how we react and interact with others.

    The sad part is, we may not even link our feelings to media sources. We see or hear something that upsets us, but because we are bombarded with so much information, we can’t pinpoint the source of our underlying anger.

    Make a real effort to limit television time. Silence your phone and interact with those around you. Find things you enjoy doing that have nothing to do with media. Like the old Sunday school song used to say…be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little ears what you hear.

    “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

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  • 9. You are in the comparison trap.

    9. You are in the comparison trap.

    Anger can manifest itself when we are constantly comparing ourselves to others and coming up short. We feel slighted, neglected, or even forgotten by God when we compare our circumstances to those of others. We may even turn to blaming God for our situation.

    Remember the words of Job who said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)

    Comparing yourself to others, then blaming God for not giving you the same things, is a warning sign that anger may be getting the best of you.

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  • 10. You’ve forgotten the 2 most important commandments.

    10. You’ve forgotten the 2 most important commandments.

    The most important thing your anger may be trying to tell you is that you’ve lost sight of the two greatest commandments.

    “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)

    If we’re honest, unrighteous anger is the opposite of love. It does not uphold either of the two most important commandments. In fact, it stands in opposition to them. Perhaps it’s time to get back to the foundational reasons for putting anger in its place—loving God with our heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving others as ourselves.


    Jennifer Waddle is best known for encouraging Christian women in faith and life. She is the author of several books, including Prayer Worrier: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a contributor for WomensMinistryTools.com, Crosswalk.com  and abide.is. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth. You can find free resources at EncouragementMama.com or find her books here. Jennifer is also available, via email, at jennifer@encouragementmama.com. She reads every single email that lands in her inbox, and would be honored to pray for your requests. 

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