How To Deal With Conflict
The Scriptures have much to say about anger as a human emotion. God Himself demonstrates anger at times but even His anger can be redemptive. In His anger He did not sin. The Bible offers many wise instructions about how anger can be managed. While anger in itself can be a healthy emotion, how we manage our anger can either be destructive or an opportunity to grow in ourselves and in our relationships. How can we learn and grow from this to avoid the “root of bitterness” that may cause further trouble and defile many? (Hebrews 12:15)
Read: Ephesian 4:26-32
- Take a moment to reflect, what offends you the most? Reflecting on the reasons why we are offended can reveal our values, attitudes and self-esteem. How does this understanding help us grow in character?
- What damage can be caused to those affected by an angry person? What can be the damage to a person who is angry? Discuss why Ephesians 4:27 is so important.
- Anger is often managed one of three ways:
-Suppression: Being aware of the anger but bottling it up, possibly due to circumstances or the inability to give appropriate expression to it.
– Repression: Being angry but in denial or unable to process it. Eventually the anger is expressed through other avenues or events.
– Expression: Being unrestrained and giving vent to emotion, despite the collateral damage to others.
Have you been on the receiving end of any of these forms of anger? How did it make you feel? Is there one style of anger above that you relate to for yourself?
- Why is confession to God a better way to manage anger? When we open our heart and emotions to God, either negative or positive, it is an honest expression of truth. Share your experiences of how private confession has helped you in the past. How might this assist us to relate better to others too?
- In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul talks about “taking captive every thought.” What do you think that means? How would it stop us from sinning when we become angry?
- Undoing the damage caused by anger is rarely easy and just saying sorry is never enough. Why? Share an experience where saying sorry did not fix the problem.
- Read Ephesians 4:29-32 and Colossians 3:12-14. How do these passages offer ways to repair the damage unrestrained anger can cause? What practical steps have worked for you in healing a broken situation caused by unrestrained anger?
To resolve conflict and initiate healing from an angry outburst, Pastor Dale suggests asking the other person the simple question, “What just happened?” Seek to understand the other person’s perspective and listen respectfully and graciously without defending yourself. Then seek to share how you felt and what you understood. In all circumstances, seek to express kindness, compassion, gentleness, patience, humility, respect, a listening ear, and forgiveness. If you become “angry without cause” towards another person, take time to repent. Who is one person you could seek to restore a relationship with this coming week?
Father’s Day is coming up on September 3. What can your LifeGroup do to make this an outreach opportunity? For example, can you invite friends to the Crossway Car Show on Saturday September 2, then invite them to church afterwards?Download PDF