Small Group Discussion Guide
-Responding to Anger-
Anger is a natural emotion, but we have a choice in our response to anger. Share a time when you didn’t respond well to anger. Describe the situation to the group, including the moment of choice and what you think about the situation now.
Read Matthew 5:21-26. Jesus is talking here, not about the initial emotion of anger, but an inappropriate response to anger that results in internal bitterness and/or verbal attacks on another person. Why is it important to deal with bitterness issues with others before you worship God?
Read Ephesians 4:26–27.
- It seems as though anger and God shouldn’t go together, but we are asked to acknowledge our anger yet not sin. What is the practical meaning of this?
- Why do you think God created the emotion of anger and why are some people afraid of anger?
- How might being real about anger honor God?
RESPONDING TO ANGER:
1. DON’T DENY YOUR ANGER.
Read Proverbs 15:18.
- What does a patient, cool-tempered person do?
- Why do you think it is important for believers to be authentic regarding anger?
2. DELAY YOUR ANGER.
Read Proverbs 16:32. What are some practical yet mature ways to delay anger and what does that accomplish?
3. DEFINE YOUR ANGER.
Read Proverbs 14:29.
- How can reflecting on a person’s underlying feelings make us less judgmental and more understanding?
- Anger is a secondary emotion, and what’s behind anger is often hurt, frustration or fear. If we reflect on what causes our anger before we respond, what might we discover about ourselves?
4. DEFUSE YOUR ANGER.
Read James 1:19. What are the benefits of not harboring anger but trying to resolve it with someone as soon as possible?
5. DELIVER YOUR ANGER TO GOD.
Read Ephesians 4:31-32; I John 1:9.
- Which of the behaviors in the above verses do you struggle with?
- Why do we sometimes forget to turn to God when dealing with problems and anger?
APPLICATION... Consider which of the 5 Responses to Anger (Don’t Deny, Delay, Define, Defuse, Deliver) is hardest for you, and tell the group what steps you’ll commit to make this week in that area.