Inside Out Part 4: Anger

On Sunday 24th January at our morning services, we continued our series Inside Out with the topic 'Anger'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.

If you would like to listen to the talk, please click here.

Talk Notes and Summary


I am not generally an angry person but I have lost my temper a couple of times. 
But is losing our temper inevitable when we get angry?
Is there another more constructive response to things that make us angry?

What do you get angry about?
Is it relationships or maybe what goes on at work or in the wider world?
Is it little or big things?
If you do get angry how do you handle it?

There are 4 main ways.
Try to IGNORE it and self-medicate with distractions.
Let it FESTER and grow inside you.
THINK about why you are angry and think about what you need to do to change things for the better?
Our reaction may be different in different circumstances?
Have you ever tried to work out the sorts of things that make you angry?
For me it is lies, and injustice.

Do you ever wonder if it is it okay to get angry?
Whether you are Christian or not we all get angry.  
Can anger be good?
Is there such a thing as righteous anger?
A Righteous anger that calls us to take action to bring a change for the better

What does the Bible say about this?

In a letter to the church in Ephesus we read this Ephesians 4:26-27 (MSG) You can read this by clicking here
26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry.
This implies that anger can be okay, but equally it can be destructive. 
So we need to turn our anger into a constructive thing?

In Marks account of Jesus life we read of when Jesus vents his anger.
It happens right at the end of Jesus life and ministry.
Mark 11 v11-17 (NIVUK) You can read this by clicking here
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. 
He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Jesus gives himself time to think and the story continues next morning.
15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. 
He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves, 
16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 
17 And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”?  
But you have made it “a den of robbers” ’

This is not an outburst of temper, it is considered.
Jesus has moved from disgust at what he sees, to righteous anger that is in line with God’s anger.
You don’t have to be a Christian to feel it?
Like a conscience we are born with an inbuilt sense of when things are wrong. It prompts righteous anger.
The Righteous anger that calls us to take action to bring a change for the better
Jesus was angry at the corruption in the Temple.
The place of prayer had been turned into a profit making venture.
The temple was a place to bring offerings to say sorry or thank you to God.
But people were being made to buy offerings only sold in the temple.
They had to exchange ordinary money into temple currency.
People were being exploited for profit.
It was putting a huge barrier between God and the people.
Jesus came to earth to be the ultimate sacrifice to tear down for ever the barrier between man and God.
He is God in the flesh accessible to all the people; Jews or foreigners, sick or well, rich or poor, good or dodgy.
And he is angry at the corruption and exploitation.
This righteous anger calls him to action.

Sometimes anger is the right response to something that disgusts us and God. 
Righteous anger calls us to take action to bring a change for the better
When we get angry we have a choice about what to do with that anger.
It can destroy or result in action that makes a change for the better.

What is it that makes you angry?
What is the passion that God has placed in you?
What is it that you need to do to make a change for the better?
Sometimes our fear overrides our anger so we don’t do anything about it.
We need to face our fears.

Sometime we have tried to take action but it has failed to make a change for the better. It can take a long time for change to happen.
We mustn’t give up.



Questions and Reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)

1. What are the things that  you think makes God angry? 

2. What are the sorts of things that make you angry, why do you think that is?

3. What are the kinds of things that you think that it is okay to be angry about and why?

4. What sorts of things in your relationships make you angry and what would you like to do about them? 

5. What is your default way of dealing with anger?  
1.    Outburst, 
2.    Do you let resentments fester?
3.    Do you push things down and try to Ignore them?
4.    Or do you give time to think through why you are angry and what you can do to make a change for the better? 
       What would you like your response to be?

6. What are the sorts of things that could make us afraid of trying to make a change for the better?
    Are there ways that could help you overcome your fears?

7. Think of one thing that you are going to do as a result of this session on anger.
Steph Littlejohn, 25/01/2016