READ: Mark 2:23--3:12
THINK: How often do you find yourself getting angry, and what kinds of things make you angry? Do you usually feel right in getting angry, or do you frequently regret it? And what kinds of consequences often result from your anger? Like any emotion, anger can arise for a variety of reasons and lead to any number of outcomes--some good and some bad. Anger itself is not often the issue. Something deeper usually triggers it. While you cannot always control the circumstances, you can control your emotions so that you respond appropriately to people and situations.
RESPOND: What is the Sabbath and how did God design it to benefit people? (See Mark 2:27 note.) Why was Jesus angry at those who were trying to find a way to accuse Him (cf. 3:5)? Why were some of the leaders more concerned about their laws and traditions than with the desperate need of the man in 3:1-6? (See 3:6 note.) Is anger a good thing or bad thing for a Christian? Explain. (See 3:5 note.) What should a Christian's attitude be toward evil, hypocrisy and injustice? How should they respond to these things so that Jesus' reputation and kingdom are honored?
PRAY: Ask God to help you control your emotions and to respond to situations and circumstances in ways that are appropriate, beneficial and God-honoring. Pray for anyone who is trying to get the best of you.
ACT: If you've been struggling with a situation in which someone is trying to harm you or get the best of you, depend on God to help you respond graciously and reserve your anger for things that are justified. Make a conscious effort throughout the day to control your frustration and anger at all times. If you are currently facing situations in which anger is justified, think of practical and constructive ways to redirect your emotions. Let your actions speak louder than your emotions and find a way to affect positive change in the situation.
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