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Session 15

How to deal with anger

Read: Proverbs 15

No one likes a distracted driver. It’s the woman looking down at her phone after the light has turned green. It’s the guy who cuts off the mom in a minivan while negotiating a business deal. Brakes squeal. The minivan driver lays into the horn. The person who has been waiting to get through the light lets out a few choice words and hand signals.

It’s easy to let frustration get the better of us on the road. But the reality is cursing at other drivers doesn’t get us where we are going any faster.

The same is true for any conflict we find ourselves in. To be angry is not a sin, but how we respond to anger can be. Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Giving full vent to our anger doesn’t change the situation. In fact, it can make it worse.

Maybe you don’t express anger through gestures or words, but instead, choose to bottle it up. Holding anger in is just as sinful as blowing up. Unconfessed hurt turns to bitterness and resentment, which separate us from God and others (Psalm 66:18, Mark 11:25).

God knows the motives of our hearts; He is not fooled by outward appearances. As we share our struggles and open ourselves to correction, God frees us from sin. Correction may not be easy to hear, but the path without correction is far more dangerous. Proverbs 15:10 says, “Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.”

It is hard to allow someone to correct us. Pride tells us to be defensive and stand our ground, but through discipline, God draws us closer to Him.   

Reflect:

  • Think of a time when you acted impulsively. Looking back, how could you have handled the situation differently?
  • What do you do when someone hurts your feelings? Do people know when you are angry or do you bottle it up?
  • How do you respond to correction? As you reflect on how you respond, is there anyone you need to apologize to?

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