Theme: Are you fanning the flames or calming things down?
1. Proverbs 15:18 compares a person with a hot temper to one who is patient and calming. What does it mean to lose your temper? What are some things that make you lose your temper?
2. It’s really hard to keep cool when someone is taunting you and trying to make you mad. You just want to lash out in anger at them! This is what Nehemiah could have done in Nehemiah 4. Nehemiah was a Jewish leader held captive in Babylon. He was allowed to return to Jerusalem with some of the Israelites to rebuild the city. They started by rebuilding the walls. The people from neighboring countries didn’t like this. They came over and taunted and made fun of Nehemiah and the Israelites and threatened to fight with them. Nehemiah could have reacted by getting angry and yelling back or fighting. Instead, he prayed to God for strength, wisdom and protection in dealing with these troublemakers. And he continued to calmly work on building the wall. What do you think might have happened if Nehemiah fought back instead? Think about how Nehemiah handled his anger and how God helped him with self control as you listen to today’s program.
“Losing your temper causes a lot of trouble, but staying calm settles arguments.”
In this episode, Liz is angry at Skink and Cole when they are unkind to him. So he stirs up the pot and suffers the consequences.
Anger is a tricky thing. It’s okay to feel angry. For example, Jesus was very angry when the money changers stopped people from being able to worship in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13). But it’s what you do with the anger that is important.
If you are feeling angry, it helps to talk about what you are feeling angry about with an adult or a friend. But you can also think about some ways to manage those angry feelings in an acceptable way. Discuss some ways to deal with anger with your parent. Some ideas might be to hit a pillow, kick a ball, yell into your pillow in a quiet corner of the house, go for a walk or run, go to your room for some quiet time, pray, listen to music or breathe deeply. Have some strategies that you and your parent agree on to try the next time you are feeling angry. Then try one! The best thing you can do though is to talk to God about your anger. Pray to him this week and ask him to help you with your self control.
Does your anger sometimes bubble over? Ask your parent’s permission and help for this challenge. Use a clear glass. Put it in the middle of a baking dish. Fill the glass half full with water. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Add a few drops each of food coloring and liquid dish soap and stir. Then add some vinegar to the glass. What happens?
When you have anger (the baking soda), you have to make sure that you don’t lose your cool (that’s like adding the vinegar!) Your anger will bubble over and create a huge mess! When you are feeling angry, take some deep breaths, walk away, or talk to someone and ask for help. Pray that God will give you the strength to make a good decision about managing your anger.