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Small Group Lessons on Anger, Fear, & Hurt

These are three weeks of homework assignments for a small group. I suppose they could also be used as discussion questions. I wrote this up because I like teaching and it popped into my mind.

Week 1

Prayerfully pay attention to yourself this week. Write a time when you experienced fear, anger, and hurt ( 3 separate occasions). For each experience answer the following three questions:

1) What triggered each experience?
2) How did you act afterwards?
3) What do you think about your reaction.

Example 1: My daughter back-talked me. I was mad. I talked her down. That wasn’t right of me.

Example 2: A new project was dumped on my lap at work. I was anxious. I worked frantically, skipped lunch, and got home late where I snapped at everyone. I shouldn’t have been the one doing that extra work. It was Joe Smoe’s job.

Example 3: My spouse didn’t acknowledge any of the work I did today. I was hurt. I distanced myself. I didn’t want to bug him. He’d had a stressful week.

Feel free to write down times when you thought you reacted well to experiences too.

Week 2

1) Was Jesus ever afraid, angry or hurt? Cite examples.

2) Did Jesus ever have reason to be afraid, angry, or hurt and yet wasn’t? Cite examples

3) When is it Christ-like for us to be afraid, angry, or hurt? Back up each instance with scripture.

4) Does the Bible ever command us NOT to react according to how these emotions would lead us? In what context? Finding synonyms for fear, anger, or hurt when citing examples may make this easier.

5) Write down 3 times you experienced fear, anger, or hurt this week. Then state whether that emotion brought you closer to the Lord or lead you to justifying your feelings or actions before men. Ask the Lord to reveal to you the truth of what is in your heart.

Week 3

All our passions are ruled by the flesh until they come under submission to Christ’s power in us. This means that if our fear, anger, and hurt is not leading us to a greater faith in Christ, then it is leading us to a greater faith in an anti-Christ, that is, anything other than Christ. Where is your fear, anger, or hurt leading you? To an increased faith in Christ or to an increased faith in something else?

Again write down 3 new instances this week when you are afraid, angry, or hurt. Answer these questions after each incident.

1) What triggered the experience?
2) Where did your fear, anger, or hurt lead you? To a greater faith in Christ or greater faith in something else? As this can be a difficult question to answer, be sure to prayerfully ask God to reveal the answers.
3) Are there any lies that you’re believing that are preventing you from trusting in Christ? Sometimes dialoguing about this with a mature friend can help reveal the truth. 
4) What does the bible say in contrast to the lies you may be believing?

Example 1: I’m hurt because I’m always the one to initiate getting together with a friend. I feel like they don’t care about me. I feel worthless. LIE: I’m allowing the way they treat me to dictate my self-worth. I’m not believing what God said about my worth. The bible says that God is longing to have a relationship with me because he loves me.

Example 2: I’m stressed out because I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with my rebellious teenager, and I’m afraid that if I make the wrong choice, I’ll mess up my kids. LIE: I’m believing that how my child turns out is totally my responsibility. The bible says that everyone is born a rebel, and that God alone can change their hearts. The bible also says that God will supply all my needs (for parenting too!).

Example 3: I’m so mad that that person said that to me. They’ve no idea how rude that was. I’m willing to overlook it because I’m a Christian, but that was wrong. LIE: I think I deserve credit for not pointing out their flaws or holding a grudge against them. I'm forgetting that the Lord has forgiven me just as much as he’s forgiven them. I’m just acting like the unmerciful servant.

When we have the spirit of God living in us, every moment in our lives can bring glory to God. Even our untrusting fears, self-righteous angers, and insecure offenses can grow our faith IF we allow these instances to draw us to Jesus. These cases just remind us that we need him every instance of every day.


Patty said…
Very thought provoking, Abby. There have been a few times this week that I've struggled with some of these thoughts and emotions! I do want to bring them back to God, and this is a great reminder. Thank you! You're a great teacher!
Thanks, Patty. Funny thing happened. As soon as I published this, half a dozen different angering, frightening, and hurtful things all happened to me at the same time. Sheesh!

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