TiO 45 – The Art of Relationship – The Lost Art of Managing Anger

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The Main Idea

Being angry is not bad. But anger uncontrolled, anger that is not a slave to your mind can cause problems in relationships, some which can last a lifetime. So, what does the Bible tell us about anger how to manage it and how to have conflict without sinning?

Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)

Q1: Have you ever experienced road rage? That is, been a victim or or seen it live and in person? Tell that story.

Q2: Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone who is angry at a system that you are the face of? Eg., you are a salesperson at a store and someone is angry with the service, or a waiter at a restaurant and the customers are angry because the food is bad.

Q3: Thinking back to the research that Zach did (or your own experience), what kinds of incidents or behaviours are currently triggers in our society for anger or rage?

Dig a Little Deeper

Read Ephesians 4:26-27

Q1: What does Paul tell the Ephesians about anger?

Anger is not bad, it is a reaction to circumstance. Sometimes anger is justified and prompts us to make wrong things right and to fix what is broken in the world. But often-times anger is a result of our own insecurities and hurts. And the trigger of a memory or a sense of repeated wrong to us can cause us to explode. But Paul says that when we are angry we should not sin because when we do we let the devil into our lives.

Todd talked about anger and relationships this weekend.

Read Proverbs 14:29, 17:14, 20:3, 19:3

Q2: What do these Proverbs say about anger?

Todd gave us some guidance when it comes to anger.

  • We need to own and manage anger.
  • What we do with anger is for us to choose and to control.

Read Proverbs 14:29

Q3: What do we learn about anger from this verse?

  • Pay attention to anger and what causes it.
  • Anger is a secondary emotion, it is something else that triggers it.

Read James 4:1-3

Q4: Anger is one of many secondary results of deeper issues. What does James tell us is the root of much of our interpersonal sin?

  • Choose your pain and fight with honour.
  • Our relationships are important, we need to control our anger to show how important other people are to us

Read Proverbs 18:19

Q5: Offence, the result of misplaced anger, can cause great problems, even among the closest of friends. The writer of the proverb compares a friend who we have offended like a fortified city or a prison. What are the characteristics of these structures?

Next Steps

It is much easier to talk about controlling anger than it is to actually do it. And it is much easier to analyze the triggers for our anger in times when we are not angry. So, take some time to talk as a group about what makes you angry and how to “be angry yet not sin.”

Q1: Generally, what makes you angry? Eg., people who do not clean up after their dogs on walking paths.

Q2: What circumstances and actions on the part of important people in your life (spouse, friends, family) make you angry? 

Q3: How do you manage your anger? Eg., you smash household objects. Which of those management “techniques” are good and which are not?

Q4: What practical things can you do to control your anger?

Pray that God would allow you to be angry and yet not sin against him or against other people, whether they be close to you or strangers?

The Depth (for optional study)

In this section we are providing an in-depth look into the scriptures that the message came out of. There are two critical steps in good interpretation of the Bible. First, we try to understand what the author meant when he wrote the words and how that would have been applied by the original audience. Second, we then take the principles that the original author was trying to get across to his audience and we apply those principles to our own lives. You may want to read some of these passages yourself and/or have people in your group read them together.

Ephesians 4:26-27

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.

 

James 4:1-3

Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.

 

Proverbs 14:29

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,

but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

 

Proverbs 17:14

The beginning of strife is like letting out water;

so stop before the quarrel breaks out.

 

Proverbs 19:3

One’s own folly leads to ruin,

yet the heart rages against the Lord.

 

Proverbs 20:3

It is honorable to refrain from strife,

but every fool is quick to quarrel.

 

Proverbs 18:19

An ally offended is stronger than a city;

such quarreling is like the bars of a castle.

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