Session 5 – Understanding Anger

UNDERSTANDING ANGER

Preparation

In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on:
James 1:19-20
Proverbs 29:11

Read/Watch:

 

What is Anger?

Anger can be described as our antagonistic response towards someone or something that you feel had treated you wrongly. By itself, anger is not necessarily an unhealthy emotion. However, we are rarely educated on giving a healthy response towards anger even as a Christian.
 
For many, the natural coping response towards anger will be to internalise it either through harbouring some form of resentment or self-blame. For others, they cope by making others angry to express the anger they want them to know. However, in doing so, they ended up making others feel hurt.
 
Some others will “rationalise” their anger and try to “make sense” of it by finding a ‘reason’ to justify their anger. Such rationalisation comes in different forms. For example, some people develop some form of belief that they are the most righteous one and that is why they were treated wrongly. Some others do the opposite by thinking that they must be so bad that they deserve to be treated wrongly.

 

Accountability (10 Minutes)

1. Based on the previous lesson, share with your group members ways on how you can handle grief and sadness.

2. Did you manage to identify anyone who may have been grieving in silence among the people in your church? If yes, what did you do for them?

 

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. Read Genesis 4:1- 11. What was the problem here that led Cain to commit the sin to his brother? What lesson about anger can we learn from this story of Cain and Abel?

2. In Matthew 5:21-26, what advice did Jesus give to all who are facing conflicts with themselves and their neighbour?

3. Read John 2:13-16. Apparently, Jesus showed some form of hostility. What is the difference between what Cain did with what Jesus did?

 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. What is so dangerous about anger? Can a Christian be angry? Is there such a thing as “holy anger”? Discuss it with your group.

2. Anger is often described as our hostile response towards the circumstances around us. Share with your group members on some of the anger that you are struggling with and pray together for God to help you resolve the anger.

3. One of the most toxic forms of expressing anger is being passive-aggressive. There are many ways for us to be passive-aggressive. Share a Christian approach on conflict resolution that is opposite of being passive-aggressive or direct hostility/outburst.

4. Discuss with your group, what Christian approach do you need to take if people are angry at you?

 

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

1. Pray that God will help you to identify any form of anger that you may be harbouring towards something or someone in life.
 
2. Pray that with God, you will be able to let go of any anger that you may be holding on to and embrace the grace of God in dealing with people and life circumstances.
3. Finally, that God will grant your church the ability to handle anger in a Christlike manner, including applying the Biblical concept of conflict resolution as it is written in Matthew 18.

 

LEADER’S TIP

1. Many people may not be aware that they are harbouring anger. They may not understand how anger is manifested, or they are in denial of such anger. Some may build up defences to protect themselves from acknowledging the anger. If some of the members start to show some resistance during sharing, give them room to share in their own way including refusing to share anything.

2. For others, sharing about anger may lead to a blame game where they blame everything but themselves. There is a famous saying in the counselling field that goes this way, “It takes two hands to clap, it takes one hand to slap” which means that everyone contributes to the problem. We need to take responsibility for the things that we are responsible for and not only blaming everything on others.

3. Forgiveness does not always lead to immediate reconciliation. For some, after they have dealt with their anger, it will take them a period of time to accept the people that have hurt them. We should differentiate the two and not expect everyone to reconcile with the people they have the disagreement with immediately after they have let go of their anger.

**Additional Resources
Putting Anger in its Place
What about Anger – Is it a Sin?
Taming the Dragon of Anger