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Does Anger Really Hurt Relationships?

Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD’s help, I have produced a man!” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel.
When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. 3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.
6 “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.
9 Afterward the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?”
“I don’t know,” Cain responded. “ Am I my brother’s guardian?”
10 But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! 11 Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. 12 No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.”
13 Cain replied to the LORD, “My punishment is too great for me to bear! 14 You have banished me from the land and from your presence; you have made me a homeless wanderer. Anyone who finds me will kill me!”
15 The LORD replied, “No, for I will give a sevenfold punishment to anyone who kills you.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him. 16 So Cain left the LORD’s presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. GENESIS 4:1-16 NLT


Acknowledge that everybody gets angry

Learn to master my anger

Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again. PROVERBS 19:19 NLT
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. EPHESIANS 4:26-27 NLT

Reject unhealthy expressions of anger

Unhealthy anger:
1. Makes me look stupid
Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool. ECCLESIASTES 7:9 NLT
People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. PROVERBS 14:29
2. Hurts the very point I was trying to make
3. Scares the people I claim to care about

Learn to express anger in a healthy way

1. Wait for the appropriate time
Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back. PROVERBS 29:11 NLT
2. Communicate in a calm but clear way
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. PROVERBS 15:1 NLT

Get to the root of my anger

Anger is usually a secondary emotion that is protecting a wound
• Invite God to show me the wound
• Trust Jesus with my healing
• Release judgment to God
I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.” ECCLESIASTES 3:17 NLT
God is going to get them, don’t let your anger get you!

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. What part of the passage in Genesis 4 spoke the most to you?
  2. Were you surprised by how quickly anger shows up in Genesis?
  3. How has anger in relationships affected you?
  4. Have you ever hurt someone you love with your anger?
  5. Do you need to seek forgiveness?
  6. What are some ways you can express anger in a healthy way?
  7. Is there a wound in your life that you need to release to God? If you are comfortable, share it with the group and in prayer release it to God.

My Notes