Last week, all of my classes memorized James 1:19-20:
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
In looking at these verses, I confessed to my students that I dislike myself when I am mad and I am much more likely to sin when angry. Every student agreed that anger brings about a change in them and not a change for the better. I asked my senior boys to answer two questions in discussion form. First, what does anger do to you and secondly, how do you handle your anger? Tonight is a continuation of last night's entry. Here are some responses, all used with permission.
''I become more quiet and direct in my words; they become terse, clipped, and sometimes very blunt. I begin to pay attention to small details and my senses are keened. Very little escapes my scrutiny. I honestly remember the phrase, "this too shall pass," and it calms me. All the small details I pick up on while angry are then cast away and I remember God has a purpose for this moment in my life; what can I learn from it?"
"When I become angry, I might explode, depending on how angry I am. However, it's very difficult to make me angry. So when I am, it is usually because someone has done something very wrong to me or someone close to me. When I get angry, it only lasts for about 30 seconds because I know that that anger never accomplishes anything and is a waste of time. When I see people get angry for small issues, it irritates me because they are just wasting their time. [More anger=Less Happiness]"
"When I get angry, it usually affects my relationships. Sometimes I stop talking to my friends and even my family. I feel bad afterwards because when I look back, I see the effort that my friends put forth to help me through these times and I realize that their words only fell on deaf ears. When I am angry, I usually just shut down from society. Last year something happened toward the end of seventh period where I was accused of stealing something, and in eighth period, I just sat away from everybody and did no work."
"After I get angry, I laugh and cry so that I won't start saying profane words or doing anything stupid. I stay calm and get out of there. I start playing piano and singing gospel songs. Sometimes I make phone calls to this girl who I talk to so I can relax by hearing her voice. Sometimes I remember the funny and good things I had when I was little so I can feel relieved. I go outside to get some fresh air or just make fun of how stupid I am sometimes. Its hard for me to get angry." Francisco 12
"When I get angry, I usually hold it in for a long time until I can't anymore. I hate to say this but I usually go off on the person that I am angry at. I think that I am extremely slow to get angry but there are some things that I just can't let go of. I am also very quick to apologize after getting angry. When I'm angry, I usually don't tell anyone about it. If I do tell someone, it's usually the person that I am mad at. I like to cut the problem off at the source instead of telling other people and letting things get out of hand. I also tell my mom and dad because they are the people who know and care about me the most."
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