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A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace

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A Small Book about a Big Problem by biblical counselor and psychologist Edward T. Welch guides readers to look carefully at how their anger affects them and others through short, daily meditations. 

In a fifty-day reading plan journey, Welch unpacks anger while encouraging and teaching readers to respond with patience to life’s difficulties.

This biblically wise resource is a useful tool for pastors, counselors, and lay helpers who are working with people who struggle with a short fuse.

In A Small Book about a Big Problem, Welch invites readers to consider how everyone can find anger in their actions and attitudes, but Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is the only one who can empower his people to grow in patience, peace, and wholeness.

How many times today have you been irritated? Frustrated? Anger is so common—yet it also hurts. It not only leaves a mark on us, but it also leaves a mark on others.

The wounds we inflict on ourselves and others because of anger—loss of intimacy, trust, security, and enjoyment in our closest relationships—give us compelling reasons to look closely at our anger and lift our eyes to Christ.


Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a PhD in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a master's of divinity from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His biblical counseling books include Shame InterruptedWhen People Are Big and God Is SmallAddictions: A Banquet in the GraveDepression: Looking Up from the Stubborn DarknessCrossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from AddictionRunning Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of RestWhen I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and AnxietySide by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love; and A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace.


“Does anger really require a basic treatment program of seven weeks? Yes. Small symptoms mask major diseases. In A Small Book about a Big Problem, Dr. Ed Welch masterfully combines biblical analysis and a lifetime of counseling experience with a gentle exposing of our true condition—and then prescribes gospel medicine. Complete the course! At first it may not taste good. But it offers the hope of long-term spiritual health.”
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries

“As a young pastor anger nearly destroyed my family and my ministry. By grace, God rescued me. My hope is that this book, filled with profound insights, tender grace, and practical wisdom, will be used by God to rescue and restore many. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading it.”
Paul Tripp, Author of New Morning Mercies

“Anger is a big problem today—in our political life, in the world’s religions, on the highways, and in our own hearts. Scripture says it is often murderous, and it warns us about it at length. But often when we are angry, we don’t have the patience to listen to a lecture or treatise. Thankfully, Ed Welch’s book provides biblical teaching about anger in powerful, eloquent, short segments. Right to the point; right to our hearts.”
John Frame, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL

“The title of this book is accurate. These fifty reflections are brief and succinct, but they directly address one of the biggest and ugliest problems in the world. Anger is inextricably tied up with bitterness, envy, hate, an unbridled tongue, resentments, party spirit, and war. It divides homes and splits churches—and this among the people of God who, Jesus says, will be known for their love. This eminently probing and practical book is in part a collection of first steps for combatting this awful wickedness.”
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical School, Deerfield, IL; cofounder of The Gospel Coalition

“Anger can be explosive or it can slowly simmer. Whatever form it takes, it leaves a path of broken relationships in its wake. Ed Welch’s new book, A Small Book about a Big Problem offers a needed opportunity to consider what’s at the heart of our anger. These daily devotions patiently expose the destructive effects of anger while guiding us to a life of greater humility, thankfulness, and peace.”
Melissa Kruger, Author of The Envy of Eve and Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood 

A Small Book About A Big Problem was, for me, a gentle, calm, honest conversation with a wise friend about a real problem. In our angry and even explosive world today, that is a rare treasure indeed. Anyone open to the gospel will be helped by this book to rethink their pain and turmoil in the presence of Jesus the Crucified.
Ray Ortlund, Pastor of Immanuel Church, Nashville, TN

“What a rich, insightful book! Ed’s years of working with the heart come to life in these short, piercing vignettes. They aren't so much devotionalas they are disrupters. They will disrupt your heart for good. No matter where you are in the Christian life, you will find yourself arrested by this book. I’m getting one for each of our children.”
Paul Miller, Founder of seeJesus; author of A Praying Life and A Loving Life

“Anger—so easy to neglect! Feel too busy to address it? Try this amazingly simple tool. Short, but sharp and straight to the heart. Perfect for your morning meal with the Lord. Your heart needs these fifty questions.”
François Turcotte, President of Séminaire Baptiste Évangélique du Québec (SEMBEQ)

“A few pages into A Small Book About A Big Problem,I thought: ‘He’s done it again!’ Ed Welch writes with simple, penetrating, grace-filled clarity that sets us on the path to the reality of forgiveness and hope for change. If you feel like you’re in a losing battle with anger, read this book—and read it for all fifty days.
C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville

“God’s wisdom counsels, ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath,’ and ‘The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.’ Gently but so incisively, Ed Welch plumbs and exposes the ugly depths of our angry hearts. Then he brings us to Jesus, whose mercy can replace our selfish rage with humility and gratitude. Read this small book reflectively and honestly. Expect big change.”
Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California

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0.45 LBS
4.30 (in)
6.25 (in)
0.56 (in)
Edward T. Welch
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A Small Book
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REL012020 RELIGION / Christian Living / Devotional
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19 Reviews

  • 5

    A Great Read!

    Published by Savannah on 06 10 2019

    I don’t consider myself an “angry” person, I’ve never been told I have anger issues or felt that I needed help to control my anger but this book impacted me and spoke to my heart so much. The presentation of the material is fantastic. The scripture references were on point and I appreciated the fact that the book didn’t only focus on why anger is wrong but how to replace anger with peace and contentment. I loved that this book was broken up in 50 daily meditation segments. It is more like a devotional than a full text book and that was a pleasant surprise. The size of the book made it so easy to throw into my bag and take with me for convenient reading on the train, etc. I appreciated the blank page at the end of most of the chapters: I wrote notes and prayers on them and was able to use the book like a journal too. A great book for any Christian who wants to exercise better control over their anger emotions

  • 5

    Life changing!

    Published by Becky S. on 06 10 2019

    This book is profoundly life changing. It rearranged the way I look at life's irritations and seemingly unfairness. It has exposed my angry heart that I was unaware of. It has made me look inward rather than outward. I love that it is broken into 50 days, with each day giving some profound principle in living without anger. I plan to re-read it when the 50 days are up, and refresh my memory of this Biblical way of responding to anger. I am so grateful to Edward Welch for sharing God's truths in such a powerful way.

  • 5

    An insightful, slow walk with a trusted mentor.

    Published by Audrey Lin on 06 10 2019

    Slows you down to chew carefully on one main insight per day and give yourself time to take it in. Like taking a slow walk with a trusted mentor, it's a book that encourages you to make space for change rather than a lot of research and information. Well worth taking the time to reflect and pray through these daily meditations.

  • 5

    Gods word of truth can heal your anger.

    Published by Patricia Crothers on 06 10 2019

    The contents of this book has been a tremendous help to me. I'm challenged to confront the truth about my anger. If you are ready to deal with your anger in the manner that God wants you, read this book.

  • 5

    A very powerful little book

    Published by Deb Kallgren on 06 10 2019

    I learned that I was extremely naive about the destructiveness of anger not only on myself, and others but on my relationship with God. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who has been trapped by anger in their lives.

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