Dealing with Anger

Posted by Karah

img_2239Pause

Write down everything that’s swirling around in your mind—what you need to do, what you’re worrying about, anything that’s distracting you. After you’ve written your list, set it out of sight so you can focus only on Jesus.

After discussing the qualities that would characterize true believers, Jesus began to detail how their relationship with Him would change the way they interacted with others. First on His list? Anger. Read Matthew 5:21-26 in your Bible to learn more.

“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” —Matthew 5:22

Answer the following questions.

Jesus equated anger or hatred in your heart toward someone with murder. What does that teach you about Jesus’ attitude toward wrath?

Does this passage mean that it’s a sin to ever get angry? Explain.

The kind of anger Jesus was talking about here isn’t a flash of anger or righteous anger when God’s standards have been thwarted. It’s the kind of anger you allow to consume your heart and mind, that you hold onto and allow to fester. How can harboring anger and bitterness damage your relationship with God? With others?

Jesus also included harmful, cutting words that can kill someone’s spirit as something believers should refrain from. What does this teach you about the way Christians should treat and value others? Explain.

Respond

Have you been guilty of holding anger like this in your heart? Look up verses in Scripture that talk about anger and how to handle it. (Start with Eph. 4:26-31; James 1:19-20; and Prov. 29:11.) Record in your journal one way you will seek to reconcile a relationship that’s been broken by anger.

When temptation comes, rely on Jesus to help you overcome the desire to criticize, hurt, or hold a grudge toward others. Instead, address conflict in your relationships before anger has the opportunity to take root in your heart. Followers of Jesus should be known as people who extend forgiveness, mercy, and grace because of the enormity of sin from which God has forgiven us.

Behind the Story

The Greek word translated “angry” here is a reference to deep-seated, smoldering inner anger. This is wrath, not simply a flash of anger. We will feel anger in our lives, but wrongful anger that we hold onto and allow to control our lives and direct our actions is wrong. That’s the kind of anger that Jesus equates with murder in Matthew 5:21-26. It’s detrimental to our relationships and to us.

The Point

Followers of Jesus will not be characterized by wrath.


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