Anger Management. A Six - Week Bible Study Six steps to controlling anger Mary Southerland

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1 Anger Management A Six - Week Bible Study Six steps to controlling anger By Mary Southerland Mary Southerland Web: The Stress-Buster E -mail:

2 Study Guide Anger Management 911 A six-week bible study Six steps to controlling your anger By Mary Southerland Thank you for purchasing the bible study, Anger Management 911. My prayer is that God will use this study to change your life and/or the lives of those you are leading. The study itself, for the most part, is selfexplanatory but let me share some extra thoughts and ideas with you. The study has several different sections that can be completed in one day or in one week. My hope is that this format will set the learner up for success instead of failure. So often, we begin a bible study with great excitement and determination. Then life happens and we miss a day. The enemy immediately dumps a load of guilt on us as he whispers, You might as well give up. You will never do this! Using the format of Anger Management 911 eliminates that scenario. If you miss a day, it can easily be done later in the week. The goal is to underline the relevance and power of God s word and then learn how to plug it into every minute of every day. First, let s look at each section of the bible study. Mindset for the Journey: The greatest spiritual battles are first waged in the mind, a principle that is especially true when dealing with powerful emotions such as anger. Having the right mental attitude or mindset as you begin the study is vital to its success in your life. Before you open your bible, stop, pray and thank God for His written Word. Ask Him to reveal the unique message He has for you in this study. Read the key passage listed two or three times. Make a deliberate choice to fix your thoughts on each word and each phrase as you read it. Don't let your mind wander to the pile of dirty laundry or the mystery of tonight's dinner menu. Focus only on God's truth and let everything else fall away. Your mind is now set and you are ready to begin Day 1. Facts for the Journey: This section is the framework and heart of each week's study. To grow spiritually, we must walk by faith not by sight. Faith comes from God through his Word, which is fact. If you were to look up the word fact in the dictionary, you would see that it is defined as information or truth. We need to base our life on the truths we read in the bible. We need to embrace each word as information straight from God. In Hebrews 4:12, we are told that the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing the soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. My prayer is that as you work through each lesson, the power of Scripture comes alive in your life and empowers you for your journey. Prayer for the Journey: Prayer should be as natural as breathing. Powerful prayer is not determined by a position or posture. There is no secret formula for prayer. Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between us and God. When we pray, our mind and heart should be directed constantly toward Him. The words we say when we pray aren't nearly as important as the attitude of our heart, the life behind the prayer and the honesty of the conversation. Each lesson contains a section on prayer that serves as a guide to a more powerful prayer life. 1

3 Truth for the Journey: We need to become one-truth believers. By that, I mean every time we hear the word of God, we should come away with one new truth that we can apply in our life. Many times, I have been listening to a message when, suddenly, it is like God taps me on the shoulder and says, That one is for you! In this section, you will have the opportunity to pinpoint the one truth from the study that impacted you most. Steps for the Journey: We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that it is enough to study and know the bible. God is much more interested in how much of the bible we do than how much we know. In other words, we need to not only hear and listen to God s word, we need to apply it. James 1:22 says, But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. This section will help you make a specific plan for putting feet to or applying the biblical truths that you learn. Reflections on the Journey: We are busy people, aren t we? It is so easy to rush through a time of prayer or bible study in order to get to the next task on our list. This section of the study will help you take the time to reflect on God s truth. You will learn how to examine, evaluate and record thoughts, truths, and life changes. Over time, these reflections will help you keep your glance on the circumstances and your gaze on God. Power for the Journey: Our greatest source of power is God's Word--but only if we saturate our lives with it. Psalm 119:105 says that the word of God is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. In other words, God s word brings light into the dark places. Through scripture, we will find direction for tomorrow and discover God s plan for life. This section will help you make a plan to memorize verses and passages of scripture. You may need to start by memorizing only one verse per week. That s fine! Just start! God will honor your obedience. Women are so creative! I love hearing from many of the women who are participating in my online bible studies. Several groups of women do this study over the phone! I am not kidding! Friends from across the country have found a way to connect through bible study by participating in a weekly conference call during which they discuss the lesson in detail. During the week, they or call each other with prayer requests or a new perspective that has come because of that day s study. Other women have created on-line study groups in which they work through the study via . The point is that if you truly want to study God s Word, you will find a way to do it! If you are planning to lead a group, let me offer some additional thoughts that might be helpful to you: Begin with prayer Any bible study must be bathed in prayer. Pray as you prepare to lead your small group. Pray for God to send the right women to your group. Pray as you first work through the study on your own. The truth of God s Word is before you and the Holy Spirit will reveal new truth and give you fresh insight as you pray. Do the study on your own If you are using this study for a your own quiet time, work through each lesson at your own pace, straining each word through prayer with an open and teachable heart. If you are leading a small group, I encourage you to complete the study on your own before leading your group. God will speak to you, equipping you to share the truths you have discovered in your own personal study. Remember, you cannot lead where you have not been. 2

4 Light for the Journey Winter Newsletter, Anger. Lesson Anger Management 911 What does it take to make you angry? Do you have a short fuse or a long one? How many times a week do you explode? How many relationships in your life have been damaged by your anger? Whew! Tough questions! However, questions we need to address because anger is today's emotional epidemic! I pray that as we begin this study, you will find fresh hope and renewed strength to live your life in victory instead of defeat, in light instead of darkness. What materials do you need? A bible, pen or pencil, a journal (a spiral notebook is fine) and an open heart. The study is divided into five days and can be completed at your own pace by doing it all in one day, over five days or a week. The goal is to keep going! You may find it especially difficult to complete this study. Satan does not want you to learn the truth that God is enough for every need in your life. Don t give up! Don t quit! God will honor your commitment. Anger Management 911 is also perfect for small group study. Do you have neighbors who would love to get together for a weekly bible study? How about one of your small groups at church? Call a few friends each week and do the study via phone or reach out to online friends and complete this study together. Here's the plan: During the course of this study, we will take apart and examine God's truths and principles for anger management. You'll notice the study is divided into five days, including the section, "Power for the Journey". This study can either be done in one day or spread out over five days. Here's the plan: Mind Set for the Journey: Pray, thanking God for His written Word. Ask Him to reveal the very unique message that He has for you in this study. Read the passage listed 2 or 3 times. Then make the deliberate choice to fix your thoughts on each word and each phrase as you read it. Don't let your mind wander but focus only on God's truth and let everything else fall away. Your mind is set and you are ready to begin Day 1. Facts for the Journey: the main Bible Study facts and principles Prayer for the Journey: a week-by-week plan for learning to pray simply, effectively, powerfully Truth for the Journey: pinpoint the one truth that stood out and impacted you most this week Steps for the Journey: make a specific plan to put feet to or apply the truths you have learned Reflections on the Journey: examine, evaluate and record thoughts, truths, and life changes Power for the Journey: make a plan to memorize Scripture Ephesians 4:25-27 (NIV) Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

5 Light for the Journey Anger. Lesson 1 I always have and probably always will despise grocery shopping. Nevertheless, I vowed to choose joy for the dreaded task as I turned my focus to the balmy Florida day before me. I had it all under control - until I pulled into the crowded grocery store parking lot and began to circle. I saw an empty spot by the entrance and made a beeline for "my" parking space. Just as I turned to pull in, an older lady boldly stepped into that prized space and held up her hand, signaling me to stop. This self-imposed traffic director then motioned to her husband as he circled the parking lot in his large, black car. I suddenly realized that she was saving "my" spot for him with her very life as collateral. Parking spaces are a serious matter to me and, in my mind, can sometimes be considered a sign of God's favor. Evidently, I was not the only one who felt that way. In my simmering, soon-to-explode anger, God's still small voice reminded me that I had a choice to make. I really hated surrendering my anger to Him, but the thought of having to apologize for running over that ridiculous woman with my car was more than my mind could conceive and my stomach could handle. I decided if she was willing to risk her life for a grocery store parking space, she deserved it. Unfortunately, the driver behind me did not agree and whipped her pint-sized car into the sought-after-space just in front of the man in his impressively large black car, barely missing the horrified traffic-controlling woman as she hastily jumped up on the sidewalk, out of the mini-car's deadly path. I decided to watch the scene unfold or should I say watch the scene explode. Crude gestures and loud, repulsive words filled the air. Some I understood. Some I had never heard and did not care to consider or define. Threats were exchanged along with promises of overstated retribution. Finally, the parking lot security officer arrived and strongly urged the blustering drivers to do their shopping somewhere else. I loved that man! And I got "my" parking space after all. While it is true that everyone is angry from time to time, it is just as true that everyone can learn to effectively control and manage their anger. We need to prepare now for the angry circumstances and people headed our way. Allow me to offer several steps we can take in dealing with anger. 1. Understand that anger is powerful. Anger is an emotional warning light, alerting us that something is wrong. We may be hurt or frustrated, rejected or wronged but something has changed and we do not like it. Anger itself is not sin. In Ephesians 4:26, we find Paul's simple, clear directive concerning anger, "In your anger, do not sin" (NIV) Paul is saying that God created us with the capacity for anger. Therefore, it is possible to be angry and yet not sin. The challenge is to learn how to express anger correctly, harnessing and molding it into a tool for good instead of allowing it to imprison its victim. Anger that is mishandled always leads to emotional destruction, broken relationships, and a desire for revenge but revenge belongs solely in the hands of God. "It is mine to avenge; I will repay." Deuteronomy 32:35 (NIV) When my husband, Dan, began working with wood, so did our six-year-old son, Jered. There was one problem. Jered was fascinated by Dan's power tools and was constantly sneaking into the garage hoping that his dad had left one plugged in for him to use. Christmas was just around the corner, so Dan and I found the cutest little workbench with its own set of brightly colored plastic tools! It was perfect for Jered! Christmas morning finally came and when Jered ripped into our "perfect" present, time stood still as we waited for his ecstatic reaction. It did not come. Cautiously picking up the plastic red hammer, Jered examined each and every tool before he turned to us, his face a picture of disappointment and determination, to issue the verdict. "These are baby tools. I am not a baby. I have to use real tools like Daddy's tools." With a sense of finality, Jered turned on his heels, and headed toward the garage and certain danger. Dan followed Jered outside and I began praying for just the right words of explanation for both father and son. Kneeling down beside Jered, Dan picked up the electric sander and gently said, "Son, I know you are disappointed with the tools mom and I bought for you. I'm sorry you don't like them and believe me when I say that I understand why you love the power tools. They really are cool and fun! But listen carefully, son, because I have something very important to tell you. These power tools were made to fit my hands." Holding out his big daddy-sized hands and placing Jered's small hands in his, Dan pointed out the difference. He went on to explain that in Jered's hands, the tools could be destructive but in Daddy's hands, they were productive tools that could build and create wonderful things. Revenge was never intended for our hands; it belongs solely in the hands of God. Human revenge destroys while God's revenge brings justice and restoration. We are called to acknowledge the power of anger and then guard our heart and mind against it. The result will be a heart filled with uncommon kindness, a life blessed with supernatural peace and a life that is pleasing to God. 2

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