Below are some additional interactions on the article: Fruits—Anger Leads To Destruction. Read it first.
Take a look at the history (etymology) of the word rage. You’ve probably experienced rage at some point in your life, particularly if anger is a big struggle for you. It tends to happen more and more and get stronger and stronger if you don’t actively fight against it.
c.1300, “madness, insanity; fit of frenzy; anger, wrath; fierceness in battle; violence of storm, fire, etc.,” from Old French rage, raige “spirit, passion, rage, fury, madness” (11c.), from Medieval Latin rabia, from Latin rabies “madness, rage, fury,” related to rabere “be mad, rave” (cf. rabies, which originally had this sense), from PIE *rebh– “violent, impetuous” (cf. Old English rabbian “to rage”).
Did you notice how much of the origin of rage had to do with being out of your mind? It takes control of us and seems to almost act on its own. Is anger really something you want making the decisions in your life and shaping your future? Next time you feel rage asking for control, strive instead to allow the Lord to lead you. After all, he is the only one who perfectly, completely loves you and desires for you to be healthy, joyful, fulfilled, and purposeful. Remember Jeremiah 29:11 “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”
Each day this week, challenge yourself to read 1–2 chapters from Proverbs. There is a lot said in there about anger and the other elements that play into it—like jealousy, bad friends, wisdom, etc. After reading, spend 10–15 minutes processing what you read in whatever way works best for you. This can be anything from talking to a friend about it, to journaling, or laying in the grass and thinking, drawing a picture, or even rereading it and circling, underlining, and highlighting sections that stand out to you. Through it all strive to keep your heart open to what the Lord has to say and listen for his promptings. Keep in mind 1 Corinthians 1:25 “For what seems to be God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and what seems to be God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”
Try taking this quiz to assess your anger management. While mindtools.com isn’t a Christian website, there is still good, valid advice there for how to handle moments of anger and improve your anger management. Consider sharing your results with a trusted youth leader, pastor, or parent and getting their input on what God would advise you to do when you get angry.
Proverbs 14:29–30—If you stay calm, you are wise, but if you have a hot temper, you only show how stupid you are. Peace of mind makes the body healthy, but jealousy is like a cancer.
James 1:19–21—Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. Human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purpose. Get rid of filthy habit and wicked conduct. Submit to God. Accept his word.
Proverbs 22:24–25—Don’t make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. You might learn their habits and not be able to change.
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.
Proverbs 3:27–32—Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.
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.
Small group guide:
Large group guide:
- Make a list of the fruits of anger that you see in your own life. Consider the ones you yield daily—like yelling, hitting, hand gestures, etc.—and the long-term fruit that has come from the anger in your heart—like a bad relationship, a habit of insulting your friends, a short fuse for “stupid people.” Talk with God about how these things came into your life, the times you planted those seeds of anger. Be willing to take a chance and try things his way to see what sort of fruit that yields.
- Look at the Scripture section and choose one to memorize this week. Tell some people about the passage and why you chose that one. Whenever you begin to react in anger to something, stop and consider the advice that Scripture gives. Commit for this week to let God, not anger, lead you. I’d be surprised if you weren’t encouraged by the results!