Imagine your friend handing you a 2-liter of your favorite soda. He says, “I’m giving this to you to carry for the week. Every time you’re upset, shake this bottle as hard as you can.” You notice that after you’ve shaken it a number of times that it seems really firm. You’re tempted to screw off the cap just to see how big of a mess it will make, but you resist and continue carrying it in your backpack. At the end of the week, your friend asks you how it felt to shake it up every time you were angry. How would you feel? How often would you shake up the 2-liter? What kind of mess would it make if you opened your bottle after a week?
1. Read James 1:19-22. What does this passage say about anger?
2. What are some ways verse 19 tells us to avoid becoming quickly angry? How might being quick to listen and slow to speak make a difference in how quickly we become angry?
3. What does verse 20 mean by “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires?
4. Verse 20 tells us there is something called godly anger (also known as righteous anger) in addition to human anger (also known as unrighteous anger). What comes to mind when you think of godly anger?
5. What does verse 21 call us to reject, and what does it call us to receive? What does humility have to do with receiving God’s word and being slow to anger?
6. In John 14:16-17, Jesus talks about sending the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit and how can he help you deal with your anger?
7. In the beginning of the study, you imagined carrying a 2 liter with you for a day. What situations anger you the most and what would cause you to shake up the 2 liter?
8. How do you normally respond when you become angry?
Allow students to discuss.
9. What often results from your anger?
10. Think of a particular time you were angry. How would you have responded differently if you had considered the person who angered you as more important than yourself?
11. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against injustice, but did so humbly. Has there ever been a time your anger was the result of injustice against someone — more of a godly anger rather than human anger?
12. Choose two of the Bible verses discussed in this lesson to think and pray through over the next several days. Take a moment to write them in a journal or notes on your phone. Then spend some time praying as a group or individually (or you could invite your group to write down a prayer).
Ask God to:
- help you think of others as more important than yourself and
- help you to develop humility.
- help you to pause in a situation in which you’ve become angry and to help you see things from the other person’s perspective.
- help you pray for that person and whatever is going on in their life.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
- Holy Spirit Series:
http://thrivestudies.com/power-leader/ and http://thrivestudies.com/the-holy-spirit-series-leader/ for more about the Holy Spirit helping you to develop the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control—all which will help you to be slow to anger).
- About Me Series:
http://thrivestudies.com/whoami-leader/. Affirms us for who we are in Christ. Great study to help a student who doubts their significance.
- Controlling Your Anger. https://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/life-and-relationships/emotions/controlling-anger.html
- Video: Got Service. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzmWqZS1QSU
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.