For the first “Anger” class at ExALT: Extraordinary Active Life Together, Pastor John led an exploration of “Anger in the World in Which We Live.”

Two initial texts (Genesis 4:1-10 and Exodus 32:7-10) looked at anger, whether human or divine, often leading to violence and destruction.

There were a number of texts that caution against anger or emphasize the need to put away or control anger—Colossians 3:5-8; Ephesians 4:31; Galatians 5:19-20; Ephesians 6:4; Ecclesiastes 7:9; 10:4; James 1:19; Proverbs 16:32.

There were a number of texts that allow for anger or emphasize a righteous anger, a divine/human anger, a natural/necessary anger, especially in the face of disobedience or inaction—Jeremiah 6:11; 15:17; Mark 3:1-6; Acts 17:16; Ephesians 4:26; Luke 14:15-24.

After large group discussion, small groups of tables discussed the following questions:

  1. In recent memory, have you witnessed a public display of anger? (On the streets, in a mall, on television, in a “tweet rant”?) If so, what was your reaction to the anger?
  2. Can you name a time in your life where you have exhibited the “be angry but do not sin” mandate, when necessary anger arose?
  3. Can you name a time in your life, either specifically or generally, where your anger cost you? (Meaning, hurt you and another because of it.)

Image: “The Great Day of His Wrath,” oil, 1851–1853, by John Martin.