Below are some additional interactions on the article: Distinctions—Helpful vs. Harmful Anger. Read it first.
Here’s a Livestrong article about how teenagers can learn to handle the anger they feel in a healthier way. Take some time as you read, to consider how you might utilize this advice in your own life. Also keep in mind Proverbs 4:20–27:
“My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen to my words. Never let them get away from you. Remember them and keep them in your heart. They will give life and health to anyone who understands them. Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Never say anything that isn’t true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. Look straight ahead with honest confidence; don’t hang your head in shame. Plan carefully what you do, and whatever you do will turn out right. Avoid evil and walk straight ahead. Don’t go one step off the right way.”
Hebrews 12:14–15—Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it.
Proverbs 4:14–15—Do not go where evil people go. Do not follow the example of the wicked. Don’t do it! Keep away from evil! Refuse it and go on your way.
Luke 6:27–28—“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.”
Colossians 3:1–17—Pay attention to the things this Scripture says about anger, evil passions, and other things associated with wrath (greed, jealousy, hateful feelings, etc.)
Ephesians 4:26–32—If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Don’t give the Devil a chance.
Ephesians 2:1–10—Notice how we were redeemed when we had done nothing to deserve it. That is the Good News we should extend to everyone!
Galations 6:7–10—The actions we do out of anger are from our natural desires; but, we have been transformed and are charged with seeking after a life led by the Holy Spirit.
Small Group Guide:
Take a look at this clip from Les Misérable. It’s a famous and amazing moment when we see the effect that can be had when we follow Jesus’ example and extend forgiveness to those we have every right to prosecute. Particularly pay attention to how one act of forgiveness can encourage another to seek God and strive to be free fro anger their own lives.
Check out this segment from Australia’s Got Talent when a guy returns to tryout again after things went wrong the first time. Notice the choices people make to act one way or another.
Large Group Guide:
- Write down a story of a specific time when you had to choose how to react to someone—with anger or love. Include descriptions, lists, or drawings of how you felt during that time, immediately after, and now. Consider what others involved were feeling too. I would encourage you to spend some time talking with God about where your heart was during all of that and listen to what he has to show you about how his love can change lives. If you think it would be helpful, share this with a trusted leader or parent and be open to following their suggestions on how to address the lingering effects of anger as well as future situations.
- Look at the Scripture section above and choose one to memorize this week. You may want to break down a bigger passage to a few verses that resonated with you. Tell some people about the passage and why you chose that one. Then keep it in a place you see multiple times a day—locker, notebook, duct taped onto your Xbox controller :P. Keep God’s words present in your heart as you make the decision this week to follow anger into action or act intentionally with love and mercy.
When we are angry we often use it to cover up other emotions we may feel. Like we talked about in Seeds, anger is a common camouflage for emotions like hurt, rejection, fear, or feeling vulnerable. One way to begin choosing more God-focused responses in your life is to utilize other strategies for relieving the emotional energy you have. each day this week. Read this psalm below, titled A Prayer for Help. As you go through it, consider the different feelings being expressed here. Does it seem okay to be saying these things to God? What parts sound like something you would say? How might you talk to God more like how this psalmist—honest, open, doubtful, questioning, and faithful?
How much longer will you forget me, Lord? Forever?
How much longer will you hide yourself from me?
How long must I endure trouble?
How long will sorrow fill my heart day and night?
How long will my enemies triumph over me?
Look at me, O Lord my God, and answer me.
Restore my strength; don’t let me die.
Don’t let my enemies say, “We have defeated him.”
Don’t let them gloat over my downfall.
I rely on your constant love;
I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
I will sing to you, O Lord,
because you have been good to me.