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Anger: Is it a vice or virtue?

Updated on January 28, 2015


There is one thing, one feeling and situation that handful of people can explain its genesis- this is anger. It is because it happens spontaneously and when the victims get irritated, most can barely think rationally hence yielding negative results.

Anger is a subject that cannot be ignored because it comes between us and good performance at the work places, more often than thought triggers disintegration of the much needed teamworks and tears our families apart. It is a feeling that comes with violent conducts and destructive intentions.

For it stands in the way of getting normalcy and happiness, there is always a point that anger must occur and be managed. But how do people learn to react when irritated right from juvenile to maturity stages?

At a tender age

As a young growing child, seeing your Dad or Mum angry may be normal especially when they are yelling at you after skipping your tuition session. The same thing may happen when a child fails to receive that long-awaited promised toy from his or her father. With normal sulking, degenerating into something that is slightly physical where in this case destroying utencils: reactions are different.

At this tender age, children will learning from their external environment how they can react to an irritation. Most of their behaviours are tantamount to those of their parents or any other people living around or with them. If they live with violent people whose destructive nature are triggered by just one word then they are likely to adopt that as part of their behaviour.


At puberty, the children begin to mature to distinguish best the good from bad. But many at this stage will still cling strongly to their borrowed traits. This is where angered young girls may cry after being irritated, sulk or do anything that they may have seen their mature female relatives do. As for the boys, they learn to fight back and possibly make it physical.

Youth or adult

Indeed a mature person can react in accordance to some factors about him. These factors may include things like the level of education, profession and many more. However, there is one thing that can never be disputed.

That one's angry reaction is mostly controlled by inherited traits. People rely on their personal emotional dynamics to trigger, quell or control anger. In this case, a spontaneous reaction may be dictated by many related factors such as the victim's traits or perhaps health status.

Which way anger? Vice or Virtue..

There is a no full conception of anger as either good or bad. At early ages, young children who pick 'fights' with their parents for failing on their trivial promises are always urged to calm their emotions."Yes mum..just calm down I'll buy you that doll tomorrow", says a mother. Little do they know that they are brewing a problem.

As a natural human emotional reaction though, children do not get it first hand from their parents whether anger is a blessing or a curse. Most parents are simply trying to mitigate the nature of reactions but not shaping a child's behaviour. In fact a child with quite 'benevolent' anger reactions may win his or her parents' confidence.Why? Because he or she may be deemed perfectly mannered and so not detrimental however much this could injure him or her inwardly.

Biblical stand on anger
Perhaps it is therefore left for faith and cultural norms to take charge. Demystification of the nobleness of anger is left for the holy books such as the 'Holy Bible' and the 'Quran'.
The bible says in the book of Ephesians 4:26-31 that: "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". This insinuates that anger maybe natural but as a christian, let it not perpetuate to sunset because that should mark the advent of reconciliation.

Another biblical book of James 1:19-20 says that: "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires". By being slow to listen and slow to speak would mean that the chances or upsetting others are limited. Christians know that God wants them to keep off sin and so anger because its mostly manifested in destructive means.

Proverbs 29:11 says:"A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control". Meaning that retaliation is sinful for it is coated in fully vented anger.

These key biblical texts acknowledge the existence of anger but they oppose the perpetuation and misuse of anger in forms of launching retaliation or harming others.

Sulking is the most common expression for anger in children

A girl sulks to express her anger.
A girl sulks to express her anger. | Source

Why anger management?

Anger is thus natural and Uncontrollable. Any person can be angry at any time. In the context of non-christians or any other people, anger maybe very normal but is negative. Christians on the other hand believe that being angry is proximate to committing a sin and therefore is a situation that should be averted.

The Quran

The Holy Quran offers ways of managing anger and this however is tied to faith. One quote by the messenger of Allah said "If a man gets angry and says: “I seek refuge with Allah,” his anger will go away.”(Sahih al-Jami'; 695). For me anger is a vice, what is your opinion?


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