Main Point: Help students find positive ways to express, understand, and identify personal need in relation to anger.
Discussion Starter Options:
You can show this silly YouTube video made by a youth group—it’s about the destructive nature of anger (again, pretty silly, but it should set up your discussion adequately).
You can share a personal anger story—one that made the situation worse than when it started.
Anger itself is not bad. It’s part of being human—part of the emotional structure God put in us when he made us.
You see, we were all created with the capacity for emotional response. The human body is equipped with an automatic defensive system called “fight or flight.” When that system is turned on, adrenalin is pumped into the bloodstream, blood pressure increases, heartbeat accelerates, eyes dilate for better peripheral vision, hands sweat, the mouth gets dry, and muscles are supplied with a sudden burst of energy. Instantly we’re transformed to an alarm-reaction state. It’s an involuntary response—it’s impossible to ignore…like denying a toothache. The emotion of anger is often part of this response.
So, anger is not the problem…instead it’s our response to angry feelings that gets us into trouble.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, everybody tell us your name and share about the things in life that get you the angriest.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Each of you please share if you’re the kind of person who’s comfortable with your anger (and others’ anger) or if anger is something you prefer not to partake in (i.e., it makes you uncomfortable).
- ASK A FEW: So we know that anger is a natural emotion, and people have a wide variety of comfort levels with anger…but what does God have to say about anger?
Most of us have heard about Ephesians 4:26 (“in your anger do not sin”), but that’s not all the Bible has to say about anger. Check out these passages:
Read the following passages from the Bible:
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
…human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Mockers stir up a city,
but the wise turn away anger.
You see, when we go around showing no self-control, two things usually happen. One: we tick off everyone around us. Two, we face consequences of our actions.
Many of us have tried to control our lives for a long time now and have failed miserably. God can take “out of control situations” and control them. But on the other hand…
Read the following passage from the Bible:
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
We know that anger is a natural emotion. It’s okay to get angry. Jesus got angry. The key is to not let anger control your actions—instead, God should be the one in control of the things you do. Make sure that you go to God in prayer when you feel anger rising inside you. Check with God to make sure your anger is justified…and if so, don’t just “react” off the cuff. Take measured steps to express the fact that you’re angry, but don’t fly off the handle like someone who has no self-control.
If any of you would like to find out how God can help you deal with your anger, please talk to me or one of the other leaders after we’re done tonight.
Close in Prayer
Written by Dave Urbanski
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.