Unfortunately in this life, conflict is unavoidable. As Jesus continued to teach through His Sermon on the Mount, He came to the subject of anger, the catalyst of conflict. But anger isn’t a surface issue. Like everything else in Jesus’ sermon, anger is a matter of the heart. Jesus helps us see that anger isn’t something that happens to us; it’s a choice we make. We might not be able to control the circumstances around us, but it’s ultimately our choice whether or not we respond to those circumstances with anger.
- What is your typical response to conflict: do you face it head-on or do you avoid it?
- When have you regretted settling for a quick fix in a conflict with someone?
Read Matthew 5:21-22:
- What is your initial reaction to these verses?
- Does verse 22 make you uncomfortable? Why or why not?
- Dallas Willard said, “There is nothing that can be done with anger that cannot be done better without it.” What does he mean by this? Do you agree with him?
Read Matthew 5:23-26:
- Are you usually the first to apologize in an argument? Why or why not?
- Reconciliation requires honesty, humility, and security. Which of these do you find challenging?
- Why do you think Jesus placed reconciliation with man above worship of Him? Why is reconciliation so important to Him?
Taking it Home:
- What situations are most likely to make you angry? How can you prepare your heart this week to respond to those situations with peace rather than anger?
- Who do you need to resolve a conflict with this week? What actions will you take to make peace with that person?
Additional Scriptures to Engage with this week:
- Luke 3:1-20
- Proverbs 18:13-21
- Jeremiah 5:1-5
- 2 Peter 3:4-14
- Jonah 3:1-4:4
- Luke 19:1-10