The Meaning of Anger

In a fire, things can get out of control pretty quickly, so take action at the first signs of becoming angry before it consumes your life and destroys your relationships. “A quick-tempered man does foolish things.” (Proverbs 14:17)

  1. Anger is a strong emotion of irritation or agitation that occurs when a need or expectation is not met. “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.” (Proverbs 29:22)
  2. Anger is the fuel for what the Bible describes as a hot-tempered or quick-tempered person. “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18)
  3. Anger in the Old Testament is most frequently the Hebrew literally meaning “nose or nostrils” and, figuratively, picturing nostrils flaring with anger. Later, the word came to represent the entire face as seen in two ancient Hebrew sayings:
    1. “Long of face” (or nose) meaning … slow to anger. “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (Psalm 145:8)
    2. “Short of face” (or nose) meaning … quick to anger. “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered.” (Proverbs 22:24)
  4. Anger in the New Testament is a Greek word which originally meant any “natural impulse or desire,” but later came to signify “anger as the strongest of all passions.” It is often translated as “wrath” because of its powerful, lasting nature. “For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” (Romans 2:8)

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This information comes from Hunt, J. (2008). Biblical Counseling Keys on Anger: Facing the Fire Within, Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.

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