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Miranda Writes: How to Be Good and Angry, Part 1

by Omar Miranda

Oh, I’m gonna kill you!” I overheard my son screaming at the top of his lungs. I knew that he’d be coming in shortly to give me an incident report—and that his sister wouldn’t be far behind. After I held court, I issued a ruling and a sentence. In the Miranda household justice is swift but fair. Funny incidents like these happen many times a day in any household with kids—or people, for that matter—but anger is no joke. It happens to all of us. Anger is part of our human experience. Even Jesus got angry (Matthew 21:12, 13; Mark 3:11, 12; 11:15-17), but He didn’t sin. He was good and angry.

For many of us anger can be a very destructive emotion. Today, and for the next two weeks, I want to talk to you about the issue of anger. We’ll discuss what it is, what the Bible has to say about it, the different kinds of anger, the different types of anger people express, why and how anger happens, what the root issues of anger are, consequences of ineffective anger management, and last, what we can do to effectively deal with it both in ourselves and how to correctly manage conflict with others.

First, let’s define anger. Anger is neither good nor bad; it is a “charged,” morally neutral, emotional response of protective preservation. In other words, when we get angry, it is our way of protecting ourselves from some situation we’ve encountered. The Bible has a lot to say about anger, so I’ll give you several of the most important verses about it:

•“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19, 20, NIV).*

•“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26, 27, NIV).

•“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered” (Proverbs 22:24, NIV).

•“An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins” (Proverbs 29:22, NIV).

Did you know there are two kinds of anger? There’s a good kind that is a healthy emotion that motivates us to correct attitudes, behaviors, or injustices that we perceive as wrong. There is also a bad kind that can be an unhealthy and destructive emotional response to protect us from (real or perceived) hurt, frustration, or personal attack.

Anger shows up differently in different people. In fact, from what I’ve seen over the years, there are four types of angry people:

•Spewers: they feel that anger is necessary. These people are aggressive both verbally and, sometimes, physically. They don’t have a problem getting angry and showing their anger. In fact, anger is the main way they express themselves. They don’t care where, when, or how they express their anger. They don’t even care how it makes others feel. In their minds they reason their rights are more important than everybody else’s and no one is going to take advantage of them. Likely these folks were abused, neglected, or bullied sometime in their lives. On the outside these people look as if they’ve got great self-esteem, but on the inside they’re typically very insecure.

•Stuffers: they feel that anger is wrong. They likely think, I’m a Christian, and Christians shouldn’t get angry. So they stuff their emotions. Sometimes they feel they must “suffer for Jesus” in silence. They mistake being meek for being weak. These people can be very passive in the way they interact with others, thinking that as Christians they should allow others’ ideas, feelings, and rights to have more importance than their own.

•Leakers: they feel that showing anger is wrong. Leakers can be people who don’t have a problem getting angry, but they have a problem showing their anger, either because in the past they’ve done it and negative things have happened, or because they simply lack the skills to do it effectively. Either way, they’re passive-aggressive in how they interact with others. These are the people who shoot little stinging verbal and behavioral darts at you and say such things as “Oh, just kidding” or “What? I didn’t mean it like that! Don’t be so sensitive!” All the while you can be sure that they meant every word or every action. Leakers are people who feel that they’ve got just as many rights as the next person and they don’t understand why others don’t, or can’t, read their minds and know how they feel without them having to say something. These are the types of people who will hold grudges and typically become bitter, critical, and judgmental.

• Schedulers: they recognize that anger can be a normal, good emotion. They recognize it for what it is and take steps to kindly, respectfully, and consistently inform and communicate the true problem. They understand that their needs and rights are just as important as another person’s, and they seek to respectfully solve the problem. They are self-controlled and mindful of not trampling others’ rights in their own need to communicate their anger. They recognize that the person is never the problem; the behavior is the problem. They seek to build respectful, healthy, happy relationships with others.

Jesus wants us, as Christians, to have not only a relationship with Him, but also joy and peace (see John 10:10). Next week we’ll continue our discussion by talking about why people get angry, the consequences of ineffective anger management, and what the Bible says about effectively managing our own anger.
Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, editor, Insight Magazine

* Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Omar Miranda is the editor/director of Insight Ministries and a Christian counselor and with more than 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.

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