EMOTE – ANGER
Wednesday February 06, 2019 – Small Group Discussion
KEY SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 16:32, Ephesians 4:26-27, James 1:19-20 and Genesis 4:1-12
MAIN POINT: My anger is an early warning sign, but if I hold on to it too long, it will ruin me.
- What is one of the key things you remember from the talk on anger you just heard?
- Why do you think that stood out to you and do you think that is important?
- How often do you get angry in a week?
- Do you get angry too often, just the right amount, or not enough? Explain.
- What sorts of things make you easily angry?
- If you could pick one of those things, assuming that anger is a secondary emotion, what emotion do you think you may experience before anger? (Even if it is brief)
- Can anger be helpful?
- When does anger become a bad thing and destructive?
- Is there anything you would like to change about how you express anger to those in your life? If so, what?
- If you were to change, what would it take on you part? Try to answer without talking about or blaming others for your anger.
- Sometimes we say “BLANK makes me so angry!” Do you think it’s a good idea to give over the control of your emotions to others? Why or why not?
- Personal reflection question (answer in your head): Who do you need to take off your hook of anger/blame and give over to God in forgiveness? How do you do that actually?
EMOTE – ANGER
Wednesday February 06, 2019 – Devotional
WHAT’S THE POINT?
My anger is an early warning sign, but if I hold on to it too long, it will ruin me.
Proverbs 16:32, Ephesians 4:26-27 and James 1:19-20
The Bible has a lot to say about anger and there are hundreds of verses speaking about this emotion. These three verses above, one from the old testament and two from the new testament do not declare anger as sinful, but rather the misuse of anger and the lack of control of anger as wrong and harmful.
Each verse highlights a unique aspect of anger. The verse in Proverbs declares that being able to manage or control anger shows great strength. The verse in Ephesians reveals that holding on to anger for a long time can be harmful and even provide a place where the devil can influence. It begs the question, how do you let go of anger? The simple answer is forgiveness but it is not always so simple and can be very difficult depending on the particular situation or relationship. James speaks about being slow to anger and even identifies that human anger doesn’t produce what God would have for them.
As you use these verses it would be helpful to ask the youth how anger is helpful (warning sign and indication of some primary emotions underneath the surface: see more information section) and ask how is anger destructive.
The first example of human anger in the Bible is the story of Cain and Abel. It is interesting to consider that Cain probably felt jealousy or betrayal leading to anger. It shows in a very violent way how anger leads to destruction of relationship. It not only destroyed Abel and Cain’s relationship but the rest of Cain’s life. The consequences of holding on to anger can be devastating.
Here are a few ideas to grab the attention of youth and pointing towards the topic:
- Use a portion of this video: “Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (whole fight)” https://youtu.be/U1MnMA0TzGI to talk about letting anger control you. You could joke that your anger may not lead you to a lightsaber battle, but it may be just as destructive.
- Share a story of when you held on to anger or someone else held on to it and impacted a relationship in your life.
WHY DO I CARE?
- Anger has the potential to destroy the most important relationships in my life
- I am an unhappy, not nice person that no one wants to be around when I am angry
- Anger I hold on to turns into bitterness, and bitterness eats away at me from the inside out
WHAT DO I DO?
- Ask Jesus to reveal to me the last time I was angry and what the primary emotions behind that anger was (sometimes it’s difficult to know this without the Holy Spirit’s revelation)
- Think about the person or thing I was angry about
- As a prayer, give that person or thing over to Jesus (off my hook and over to Jesus)
- Forgive (may need to ask Jesus to help in this regard)
- Ask for forgiveness (if my anger was held on to too long and took control of me)
It is really important to be aware on the topic of anger that youth understand anger is called a secondary emotion. Usually someone doesn’t feel anger first, there is actually an underlying emotion that triggers anger. Youth may not even realize the “under the waterline” emotions that precede anger. It may be helpful to show the anger iceberg. (Can be found at: https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-anger-iceberg/