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Why being angry is silly – James 1:19-21

December 18, 2009

James 1:19-21: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Just a few moment ago I was about to open my Bible to read James 1:19-21 and was distracted by yelling from outside my window.  I glanced outside to see two men screaming at each other, and then one of the men punched the other guy in the head. And that was it, after some more yelling, they parted and a little shaken, I turned my attention to my Bible curious as to what the reading would be.  And then I read, ‘let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.’ So often what is happening in my own life is reflected in what I am reading in the Word!  My first response to this reading was that I am not an angry kind of person so how does this relate to me?  And witnessing the argument outside my window seemed to confirm that, ‘I would never hit someone’, I thought.  And then God brought to mind a meeting I was at recently where I found myself getting very angry by what people were saying.  Thankfully I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut in the meeting, but afterwards I was slamming doors and getting seriously worked up.  I drove home my mind full of thoughts of retribution, thoughts of how I would react, all out of anger and all absolutely ridiculous.

The next day I was still angry, still ready for a battle and then everything changed in a moment.  In the midst of my anger I found myself talking to God, asking why this had happened, and God gave me this amazing peace –


Wow.  Trust God.  What ever happens I need to trust God.  A smile entered my world, the anger draining away.  And then I learnt more about the meeting that had got me all pent up and discovered that there was more going on than I realised and actually I really didn’t need to be angry at all.  And this reminds me that I have a long way to go in my faith.  I seek the meekness that comes from having the word implanted in me as the James reading states.  Meekness is being quick to forgive, gentle, prepared to let go of that which would make me angry.  I want to be able to forgive instantly, to be gentle and loving in who I am, not how I am.  So I don’t want to act gentle and forgiving, I want to be gentle and forgiving.  And this can only come from having the Word of God implanted in me.  And this is why I spend so much time immersed in the Word, to graft this mighty Word into my soul; that it becomes part of me.

I seek you Lord, I trust in you.  Praise God!

God bless,

Rev Mark

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  1. How dod u handle angry people u r n a relationship with? The anger the yelling n fussing is so draining I had to give up and let him go.

  2. Shantelle permalink

    “I want to be able to forgive instantly, to be gentle and loving in who I am, not how I am. So I don’t want to act gentle and forgiving, I want to be gentle and forgiving.”

    That too, has been my prayer! Thank you for the amazing post!

    • kenneth cox permalink

      Amen , I need to heed these words ; anger is a problem , forgiveness I can deal with . It seems like when someone asks for it but how do you do it on your own ?

  3. Matt Bennett permalink

    Thank you for this, you have no idea how this hit me between the eyes….. well maybe you do…

  4. Erin Marks permalink

    I needed to hear your insight on this passage~at this very moment, I am at a crossroads of whether to choose to be angry or let it go…I want to let it go, but I needed to hear God’s Word and what you wrote…

    ~~~James 1:20 ‘for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.’ ~~~
    ~~~TRUST ME. Wow. Trust God. What ever happens I need to trust God. I want to be able to forgive instantly, to be gentle and loving in who I am, not how I am. So I don’t want to act gentle and forgiving, I want to be gentle and forgiving. And this can only come from having the Word of God implanted in me.~~~
    Whatever happens from this point, I know I have followed Him and done all I can and now it’s time for me to trust God! 🙂 I need to immerse myself in God’s Word to strengthen me against Satan and my sinful nature!! A smile is now on my face and I am beginning to feel the gentleness and peace of the Holy Spirit as I forgive as Christ forgave me. Thank you for allowing God to work through you and taking the time to share this! All thanks to God!! 🙂

  5. Jane permalink

    Can you do a deep study on “reverend” as it pertains to Psalm 111:9-10? I am interested in what you think about humans, men or women, calling themselves a title that is the same as God.

  6. hello mark i really like this one i am a kind a nice person i get mad more when no one is around and think if they where here i could really go off but when someone is around me i don’t feel that i don’t know i love everyone and i do all i can help others as much as i can and i hope they all are blessed well thank you mark for you words they where really helpful today god blessed cecil b

  7. Mary Kate permalink

    This comes at such a great time in my life. It opens ones own eyes on how they deal with anger and situations that are put before them. My Mother died when I was young. To this day, I get so angry at the fact that she left me. During the Christmas season I get not just angry but depressed on how she isn’t here to meet her amazing Grandchildren and Son-in-law. I was brought up Catholic and was told by a Priest that she wasn’t in heaven, because of the way she died. Needless to say, I am not Catholic anymore. Just this year, I was listening to our Pastor give this beautiful sermon. I now know that not only is my Mother in heaven, but she is in the arms of our Lord and Savior. This brings me peace of mind. I still am angry, but I am working on that. Thank you Rev. Mark for helping me in this process. This passage means a lot to me. God is speaking to me. I feel it..
    Gods Peace to you.

  8. Hi Rev Mark,

    I wondered if you could offer some insight on a situation I’m dealing with. I am ministering to a woman who is angry, but she is angry with God. She was sexually abused since kindergarten age and then abandoned by her parents. Her new father then sexually abused her too. She was forced to go to church and she often heard how God is our protector, but struggled to understand that. Today she is 58 years old. I just met her a few months ago. She has accepted Christ and is beginning to understand God as her Father who loves her and doesn’t abuse her. However she is “stuck” right now and very angry with God. She is seeking an explanation as to why God would let that happen to her as an innocent child when He had the power to stop it. Her conclusion is that she must not be (or have been) good enough for God to protect or love. She now feels that her attempts to run to God are in vain b/c clearly God doesn’t approve of her then or now. We know this is a lie, but to her it is very real. She has determined she has no value at all… not even to God. Can you give me a suggestion of how to minister to this lie?

  9. Kate permalink

    I do believe wholeheartedly that man’s anger is foolish leading only to destruction: relationships, objects, trust, integrity, etc. However, I do not believe anger in and of itself is silly. God has given us the ability to become angered due to the fact that there are things in this life that warrant disruption of our daily flow to express anger, not to steal joy or render fists through walls but rather to stand against injustice. Jesus, God in man, did indeed feel anger and has been documented expressing said anger, and I think with good reason. We need to know that we are prone to feel anger when things are out of sorts. The chaos offered by Satan is worthy of anger on our part because it is the direct enemy of our Savior.

  10. Susan permalink

    Thank you for writing that, I am a person who is quick to get angry and I hate that about me! I will try to graft this is my heart . Thank you !!!!

  11. Paddi permalink

    Holding on to anger even affects one’s health. (This is in regards to anger that has been held on to for lengthy periods of time). I know because I have done this.

  12. I am so blessed by your emails. I am usually experiencing most of what you are writing about. ANGER, anger, anger….I have to constantly remind myself that Christ was crucified on a cross and he was perfect so why am I so easily angered when I’m treated unfairly. God keeps giving me tests to pass but I still haven’t learned yet but am staying angry shorter periods of time so maybe I can remember next time and finally past the test.

  13. That is so true,also God said its ok to get angry but sin not,and I find myself getting angry over petty stuff,but once I realize it,I will say devil you got move move,God has been so so so Good,I can’t let the devil get my Joy,and I pray to stay more humble,and Lord will you Guird up my mouth,no when to speak and no when not to speak,iam learning also,God bless.

  14. Kerry Hitzke permalink

    Hi Mark,
    I really like your post on anger. You really hit the nail on the head when you said “In the midst of my anger I found myself talking to God, asking why this had happened, ” I am a Christian Psychologist and so mant people come to me because they feel enormous guilt about feeling angry and sometimes acting on that. But our emotions are gifts from God. They are ‘flags’ from Him to tell us that we need to see what is really going on n a situation. Often anger is the resultof our perceiving injustice. We need to seek Him and His Revelation and Wisdom in those situations when we feel angry. This is the real purpose for that emotion. Thank God for it and for HIs Tender Hand in our lives. Thanks Mark.

  15. Crystal permalink

    I love this post, and really appreciate the comment by Kerry. Thank you both for the reminders of how I can view anger or upset in any situation I may find myself in.

    Thanks Mark

  16. Latasha permalink

    Thank you so much for this inspiring way to forgive and over-look the things that seem to control us.
    I’m married to a man that has an ex wife and I seem to have an extreme amount of anger for this girl. I need to let go of this anger because at times I feel like these feelings are controlling me.

    “he who angers you, controls you”

    Thank you…god bless

  17. keep up the good work…just found out my sister has stomach cancer..I want to be able to see God at work in this situation. There is probably not much that they will do for her at this point. But I want her at peace with this and my family at peace and not to be mad at God about this…Keep us in your prayers…Thanks

  18. Tharadjne Orisma permalink

    “TRUST ME” He said. WOW!! If I just trust, pour out my all into God I would have absolutley nothing to be angry about as I continue to let God unfold my future.

  19. Tharadjne Orisma permalink


  20. Carly Cauthen permalink


  21. Patsy Bond permalink

    ANGRY…….I am angry right now. I am mad at myself for a lot of stupid things I say. When I get mad I start barking right away. Then I justify my angry by saying I’m glad I did that, that person deserved it because he’s an $#%$%….Then I start to think how vengence is the Lords, then I feel bad and remorseful because I sinned. It is a vicious cycle in my life that needs to change. I am going to pray that God helps me hold my tounge, to go into prayer as soon as a situation comes up. That is not always wesy when I am feeling hurt or used. I want to be heard. I will try to to think about this passage next time I see my step kids. I feel better already. Thank you so much for making me stay in touch with Gods word daily. I wouldn’t even of opened my bible today. I was really angry before I read this and now I am calm. I love God and want to glorify Him always. Thank you.

  22. I am angry right now!! My husband and I are at odd’s end as I type. The Bible says to anger and sin not, too late for that. I’ve yelled and said mean things. I saw the post on my FB page and said I need to read the Word. It’s funny how it just so happens to be about getting angry. I have been praying for wisdom and I believed I had received some until I was tested to the point where I did not exercise it. I am pissed off right now. And of course, the turn of events in my day came after my husband and I had agreed to get into the Word together tonight and to pray together. The kids are asleep early, that was also apart of the plan, but now bec of anger, we are not even speaking…so much for not letting Satan have the victory in this one…
    I know anger is silly, it’s a hinderance, but it’s also an emotion that people feel. Until that feeling subsides, things will not go forward.

  23. Faranisisi permalink

    Anger is silly when one continued to entertain the thought as why they are angry. The Word of God did not say we are not allow to be angry. In fact, God understand this are parts of us been human. After all He created us with our emotions in tact.

    The only time our anger is silly, when we can’t get off it. These emotions are there for a reason. To put us in balance with our human and spritual side. We do not see Gods power unless the scale tip to the far end. So anger is not a bad thing, the only time its bad when we lost the ability to double check our spiritual side as why its happening. They are all part of our making to point us to the richness of Gods amazing love.

    His Word says, if you angry, do not let the sun go down on your anger. The longer we entertain this thought, the greater the opportunity for jthe enemy to captivate ( John 10:10) our emotions and no longer we are free to enjoy the understanding of what the lesson God is trying to teach us for our growth. The other person is a mirror of ourself. What we do wrong or do right, shows from the repond of another person vise versa. That is what we often mis interprete about our different character. At the end, we spend time getting agry about another person, instead of trying to find what the lesson/or message in the whole odeal.

    So in my view after so many discussion with the Holy Spirit about this word anger. It is not a bad thing, sometimes we call our emotions bad after we experienced so much hurt and pain, instead there is a great thing in it why God created it in us. There is a balance in this emotions, however, the minute we do not follow the direction of the Holy Spirit to the use of our emotions, we lost and tip into the scale of hate and much more.
    John Chapter 14: 25 – 27.

    Note: The Holy Spirit is the Helper Jesus said will remind us of the things He said. He help us to understand/direct us to the riches of Gods Word which is so fantastic how apparent that is in Dr Marks walk with God.

    God Bless everyone

  24. Gamma Shiyanga permalink

    Anger,hot tempers,honestly I thank GOD & the word coz ever since I got to know what anger does,I never let it control me but I control it coz life’S to short to be gettin angry every now & then.Why be angry when you can be smilin?

  25. Minister it’s not very often that we see a man or woman of God attacked in such away as you were, so that truly show me that god was using your ministry tp probuce thought in his people.We live in a very hard and crul world becuse it’s a fallen world. But if I was you and i’m not, I would never give the adversary his do by leaving the web site, You have done a great work in letting God use you too bring his word to many people in the thousands. you have crossed many time zones through this internet, God only knows how many souls you have brought into the sheep fowl.
    Please don’t go out like this we need you on face book because face book is one of the few places some might even get a chance to hear or see the word of God. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NASB)
    6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
    7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Minister Benjamin Powell Faithful Fellowship Bible Church Dallas Tx 75050 United States

  26. Mario permalink

    Awesome. Thanks

  27. Heidi Bishop permalink

    Hi Mark. Something amazing happened to me last week. We have been having trouble with my husbands ex wife for as long as we have been together and every time I feel ANGRY. Last week my husband discovered a letter from her pinned on the garage door and what she wrote was hurtful and mostly untrue. I was once again ANGRY at her for not letting go, she was the one who left him for someone else. I was ready to write back or phone her and have it out with her but I stopped and folded the note and put it in my bible, said a prayer and asked Him for the right words to speak to her. Words that would heal instead of hurt. That same day I was helping my daughter pack to visit her dad and I fetched her bible and it openen and I read Psalms 37:1-8. He wants me to leave it to Him. He’ll sort it. Praise the Lord I love Him dearly.

  28. Thank you. God has really blessed me and has often spoke to me through Your messages.

  29. Aliy permalink

    I shepherd an online Christian group of about 650 at this tine – Would like permission to publish this under your name, in my forum.. Excellent!!

  30. It’s amazing how God has this way of giving you everything you need exactly at the time that you need it. I received Jesus in 2007 and was as happiest as could be. Late 2008 I met someone who hurt me very much and the pain from that has led to anger. So much anger that I was plotting in my head ways to hurt this person. Not physically, but to hurt his character so he can feel the pain I’ve been feeling. In the past year I’ve been dealing with this battle between pain, sorrow, anger, and I’ve been trying my best to build my relationship with God because I know this is a spiritual battle I have been facing.

    Then comes Pastor Brown! God sent! and all of the readers of his blog that I feel are my brothers and sisters who are helping me as well.

    The past topics that Pastor Brown has been studying have been EXACTLY the issues that I have been dealing with in the past year and that the Lord has been revealing to me in order to help me grow and be healed. The Lord never seizes to amaze me! I’m so grateful for Pastor Brown and all the readers that continue to enlighten me and help me to be a better Christian and truely live for God.

    My desires to plot against this person are passing – the more I read the word and try to hear what the Lord tells me, He’s revealing to me the things that I should be doing to love this person, forgive him and possibly help him with his own battles. I’m also now fully aware that I first need to “remove the thorn from my eye before I try to remove the thorn from another”.

    I plan to seek help on how to deal with my issues that lead me to anger and pain, and hopefully I can help others in the future and be an example of what God can do for us if we trust in Him!


  31. Julie permalink

    Anger is a very powerful emotion and contagious to others. My X spouse was almost always angry and negative. His words, his actions, his thoughts were full of anger and negativity. His anger often led to raging violence in the home. “Life and Death are in the power of the Tongue” or what you say to others. His anger not only was physical, but mentally and emotionally harmful as well. I thank God for helping me through that dark time in my life and putting a shield in front of my heart to protect me from those words that wound a heart. I always try to think before I speak, and ponder before I react. Being around an angry person is like living in a dark cloud of bad weather. I am so thankful that my God gave me the OK to leave that marriage (he was unfaithful as well and recently incarcerated). But even though I lived in an angry environment, I can see that the Joy of the Lord is much more profound then Anger!

  32. tim evans permalink

    thanks so much for your insight. i too have a problem with anger and prone to rage, mainly with those closest to me. control issues. i need to hear the word tell me to be slow to anger, just as God has been with me. pray for me and i pray for all who suffer from the same. God bless

  33. Whitney permalink

    I happened to be angry when I read this post. And what a wonderful thing that God allowed me to read this when I was angry, and completely change my perspective on things! wow!

  34. Beth permalink

    Dear LORD GOD our HEAVENLY FATHER I thank YOU for blessing us with this time to be able to read your WORD and have it instilled in our hearts. Please DEAR LORD GOD we ask that you help us and those and who are struggling in their faith, that we may always be your faithful followers and loving children for all eternity. We ask YOU that YOU may forgive us for our sins we have committed throughout this whole day and for all the distractions and interruptions we have had while praying.We thank for always blessing us with your loving mercy and forgiveness. Please DEAR LORD GOD, we also ask that YOU help those who are angry constantly and please help us to always be cool, calm, and collected, just as JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR was, is, and will always be. Thank you for giving us YOUR only SON DEAR JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR, whom we have all true, pure, good love for, who died for us on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and by him do we absolutly and truely have all true, pure, and good love and faith in YOU DEAR LORD GOD our HEAVENLY FATHER whom we love above all and everything. GOD bless all. Amen.

  35. Sandy permalink

    “I don’t want to act gentle and forgiving, I want to be gentle and forgiving.” wow!! yes that’s what I want!! awesome!!

  36. Melanie permalink

    We’ve had some REALLY bad things happening lately, and I responded by getting very angry, so angry that I told my husband that I didn’t want to pray about it because I didn’t see how God was taking care of us. But, amazingly He continues to take care of us, and I have been humbled the past 2 days to witness this. And then this devotional totally hist home! All I can say is “Our God is an AWESOME God”.

  37. Shaxina permalink

    Hiii 🙂
    this was an awesome read! ive dealt with anger…still deaing with it sometimes but im learning to be slow to speak…i tend to say a lot when im angry. this scripture is extremely helpful in molding me to be a better person.
    Ive also dealt with very angry people and have suffered when dealing with them…but God is removing things and people that are hindering me so I am thankful, altho it hurts…I will trust God 🙂

    thank you so much for your input on this…it speaks volumes!

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