Part 3 – From Anger to Kindness
Anger is a basic human emotion which has been causing trouble since creation. We see it in our families, our workplaces, on the news, and we find it in the Bible! Adam and Eve’s son Cain was “furious” and murdered his brother. How do we control this physical reaction so that it does not become sin, and instead react in ways that honor God?
What you will need: A Bible or your Bible app, a notebook, pen, and highlighter. The verses highlighted below are linked so that you can easily access them during your study time.
1. Do you have a funny story about your anger getting you into trouble? Did you originally consider it “justified”?
2. Read James 1:19-20. What is the correct order, as per this verse? Do you tend to keep your reactions in the right sequence? Is it possible that once you become angry, you might be too slow to speak? What are some techniques you use for eliminating anger?
3. Read Ephesians 4:26, Psalm 4:4, and Genesis 4:6-7. Look at Ephesians 4:26 and consider how the other verses reinforce it. Do you think the Psalm verse contradicts it? Why or why not? What happened to Cain?
4. Read Ephesians 4:27. Have you ever experienced “a foothold” that was hard to shake? Is there an event or action against you that you replay repeatedly in your mind? What are some ways to move on from that sense of hurt and bitterness? How is “move on” offensive? How is it also helpful?
5. Read Ephesians 4:28-29, 31-32. Make a list of the “do and don’t” actions and attitudes you find in these verses. Why would God ask you to replace something harmful or sinful with healthy actions?
6. Final Thought: Where are your expectations causing disappointment that leads to anger? Or would you share a time from your past when your expectations led to conflict and even outbursts? Would you be willing to pray daily (maybe hourly!) for the Spirit to help you have the heart of a servant? Would you choose to be prepared for interruptions? Do you know the one Person who can meet your needs and expectations?
In the Bible, we find many verses reminding us to watch our mouths. Anger often is most visible in our words: how we yell at our families, the curse words we say, or the gossip and slander we use as a weapon against our perceived enemies. Let’s deal with this aspect of controlling our anger.
7. Look at the verses below and jot down the “what not to do” advice given.
8. We also find advice on choosing to “speak life” with our words. What should we be doing with our mouths and word choices?
1 Thessalonians 5:11
9. In which areas do you feel you could most improve? Why? What helpful, practical changes could you implement in each area? How could making these changes be helpful to you and those around you?