Week 50: What should I do when I’m angry or upset?

Do you remember the eight fruits of the Spirit we’ve learned so far? See if you can say them together (Galatians 5:22-23). As you develop one fruit of the Spirit, it helps you to grow in other areas. For instance, it’s more natural to be kind if you’ve already learned to be patient. Too often, however, hurtful words shoot out of our mouths the moment that we get upset. Let’s find out what the Bible says about the fruit of gentleness.

Be ready to read the following passages:

Let’s start it.

What instructions would you give a friend who was holding a baby for the first time?

Let’s learn it.

If you’ve ever had a baby brother, sister, or cousin, then your parents probably told you to be gentle or “go easy” when you were around him or her. Did you know that Jesus wants His followers to have that same kind of calm and tender manner, too? The Apostle Paul described how he modeled gentleness while visiting the church in Thessalonica. Take a look at what he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8.

Paul and his friends traveled from city to city, teaching members of the early church how to live for Jesus. He wanted what was best for them because he loved them. Even when Paul was treated badly, he didn’t demand his own way. Instead, his words and actions were gentle; like a mother holding a newborn baby.

Paul not only modeled the spiritual fruit of gentleness, he also encouraged other believers to follow his example. Take a look at Ephesians 4:2-3. What attitudes did Paul tell the believers in Ephesus to have with one another?

Did you notice what other spiritual qualities grow alongside gentleness? Humility, patience, love, and peace. So there’s never an excuse for a follower of Christ to be harsh or to put down another believer. Does that mean we can act however we want when a nonbeliever insults or offends us? Check out what the Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15-16 about responding to people who don’t know Jesus.

Your witness for Christ is most powerful when someone makes you angry or when things don’t go the way you want them to go. That’s when you can show the difference Jesus makes. What can we learn about solving disagreements from Proverbs 15:1?

Your Bible might have used the word “meek” instead of gentle in some of this week’s Bible passages. It’s a word Jesus used to describe Himself (Matthew 11:29). A meek person sees the world from God’s point of view, so he isn’t easily irritated or offended.

Being gentle and meek is more than being nice or just having a laid-back personality – it’s a quality that grows in your life as you listen to and obey the Holy Spirit.

Let’s discuss it.

  1. How do you usually respond to the things that cause you to be angry or upset?
  2. Based on what we’ve just learned how could you respond with gentleness the next time something like that happens?

Let’s do it.

Think about the last time you used unkind words or an impatient tone of voice when you were upset. Did it make the situation better or worse? This week, concentrate on slowing down so you can choose to respond in a calm and gentle way. Try this – take a deep breath and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help when something or someone starts to make you feel angry. Remember, the attitude you display, the words you choose, and the tone of voice you use should be evidence that Jesus is your Savior.