James 4:1-2

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

Angry About What?

This Bible verse is highlighting a very important part of the anger process.  What is at the source of our anger?  What are we angry about?  Using the Face of Anger (FOA) paradigm, we see that this is the starting point.  What happened?  What was the injustice at the root of this event?  How is our anger connected to this?  It is likely that there is "more to this story" with learning in our history.  We may not want to "go there" yet understanding the context and reason for our anger is helpful. 

Internal War?

The question in this passage is: Are you angry with yourself?  Is this at the root of this conflict that you are having with someone else?  Freud called this the ego defense mechanism of Displacement: going home to kick the dog because you are angry with your boss.  We need to take time to reflect on unmet needs or lingering negative internal thoughts or feelings. 

Asking for Help

James 4:2 focuses on the negative outcomes of not asking for help.  The state of "not having" is somewhat easily resolved through the act of asking.  By visiting this website you are asking for help with your anger.  Prayer and relationship with G-d is also a part of that equation according to your faith and beliefs.  Christians can take solace in the fact that they are not alone and that fighting and quarreling are not "automatic" outcomes for anger. 

Other Bible Verses