To be angry is easy

Written by Nana Kwame Owusu-Afriyie.

"And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”"(NLT) Ephesians 4: 26-27

"Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires."(NLT) James 1:20

Anger may be defined as the thoughts, feelings, physical reactions, and actions that result from unacceptable behavior by others. Anger is almost always a response to perceived injustice (Reece et al, 2008: 194).

It is only natural that we react to such perceived injustices. God has endowed every man the inalienable rights to justice and no matter our estate in life, we want to be treated fairly and appreciated. Expressing feelings of anger can be therapeutic but the problem is how to control this powerful emotion and channel it for the right purpose. Aristotle once said, “Anyone can become angry … that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way … this is not easy.”

All around us, we can see and experience the obvious examples of anger that often harm not only others but the angry individual as well – unrestrained and recurrent violence towards others, verbal and physical abuse of children, perpetual bitterness, the tendency to carry a “chip on the shoulder” in which a person overinterprets others’ action as demeaning, and the inability to inhibit the expression of anger (Halonen and Santrock, 1996: 470). All these culminate in unforgiveness and the vicious cycle continues. It is not surprising then that our elder brother James, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit opined that, “Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires” (James 1: 20, NLT).

In our part of the world, anger has given rise to the unstinted act of cursing. This shameful act has reared its ugly head even in Christendom. Some so-called Christians do not believe in the justice and vengeance of God anymore. They would rather seek justice from a deity.

God knows our imperfections. He knows our anger, no matter how justifiable can never produce righteousness. We are therefore admonished thus: “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the LORD” (Romans 12:19, NLT).


Halonen, J.S. and Santrock J.W. (1996), Psychology-Contexts of Behavior, Brown and Benchmark Publishers, USA

Reece, B.L., Brandt, R. and Howie, K.F.(2008), Effective Human Relations (11th Edition), South-Western Cengage Learning, OH, USA


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