Anger is a thought that we are supposed to bring into captivity (to the obedience of Christ). When we get angry, we should imitate what Jesus did when He got angry.
Have you ever seen a sporting event where a coach lost their cool? Did it make sense for him/her to lose it, or was it ridiculous on the instant replay? Share your favorite “I saw a coach (or fan) go berzerk” story!
Humans are made in the image of God, so it shouldn’t seem too strange that God also feels anger (Numbers 25:3, Exodus 4:14). Even in the person of Jesus, God was sometimes angry (Mark 3:5). But Jesus also warned that anger can be morally the same as murder (Matthew 5:22). So it’s not a matter of whether we will have feelings of anger. It’s a matter of how quickly we will have those feelings, and what we will do when those feelings arrive.
Primary Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 10:5, Mark 3:5, Ephesians 4:26, Psalm 103:8
- God asks us to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Jesus also asked Peter to come to Him while He walked on the water. God routinely asks people to do things that they are not capable of doing on their own. Can you think of why God would do this?
- Jesus is recorded as being angry in Mark 3:5. When you read the whole passage, with whom is Jesus angry? Why? How is this different from His warning about anger in Matthew 5:22?
- Read Ephesians 4:26. Jesus clearly never sinned, even though He got angry. What did Jesus do with His anger? How can you follow His example?
- God tells us to be slow to anger (James 1:19), in part because that’s the way God is (Psalm 103:8). That’s not the same as “don’t ever be angry.” Can you think of some Biblical examples where God was slow to anger?
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read James 1:19-20 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.
What is something you have gotten angry about recently? Road rage is a common one, but sometimes even very small things can get to us at the wrong time. In retrospect, were you as slow to anger as you would like to be? Do some other thoughts need to be taken captive, too (the ones that come along when you get angry)?
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise: Do you have anger for anyone among your group, your family, your work, or even your Faith Promise campus? Start fixing the problems in the world by fixing the problems at home, first.
Engaging in Community: There is so much angry rhetoric in our nation right now, but is this anger about sin? If we practice being “quick to listen and slow to speak,” and grow our ability to be “slow to anger,” this can make a huge difference when we engage our neighbors in the things they care deeply about, without causing argument.
Engaging the World: There is so much darkness in the world that can make us angry. Consider our many missionary projects which bring light into dark places. How might you be a part of these projects or support them?
Expand God’s Kingdom
Think about something you used to get angry about, but don’t (much) any more. Is there anyone at all who might be able to benefit from whatever insight you’ve gained?
A special note to leaders on anger: Remember that abuse is a very real thing that takes place in many households both inside and outside the church. And some people will try to twist scripture until it means “Love = being my doormat, and you are being a bad Christian and sinning if you get angry at my abuse.” Some people will love this study, since they will try to use it like a club to keep their victims quiet about their abuse. Be aware that this is a problem for some people, and try to address it if it seems necessary.
ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.
– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.
– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.
– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.
– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.