Jesus Cleanses The Temple

A Children's Bible Lesson On Dealing With Anger | by Roger Taylor

The lesson is in five parts:

Part 1 - Demonstration of pent up anger with exploding pots.

Part 2 - The four faces of anger (illustrated) showing Injustice, Injury,
Invasion, and Intention. The children discuss what could make people get
angry in this way, and what "face" makes them most angry.

Part 3 - Bible story. What "face of anger" was Jesus showing? (After this, you're finished with the pictures.)

Part 4 - Our response to anger. We react in a PURPOSEFUL way, or a SPONTANEOUS way, and the anger expressed by us can either be CONSTRUCTIVE or DESTRUCTIVE. Therefore we have four responses:
(That's where the matrix comes in - and I'd draw this up) Then, to demonstrate what each of the four responses look like, there is a piece of drama for a pair of children to act out. And I'd have them present them in the order above, because the first one is quite mild and it builds up to the last one, which is quite explosive! Then we discuss what Jesus' response to his anger was (which one of the four), and how we normally respond.

Part 5 - A quiet time to reflect on our anger. Candle and soft music.

Part 1 - Demonstrate what pent up anger can do to us

Give each member of the group a plastic 35mm film canister (the translucent ones are the best) and a piece (about one third of a tablet) of Alka-Seltzer. Fill the canisters half full with water, then, all together, drop the Alka Seltzer in and push on the lid, and place canister on a central tray. Explain that sometimes, when we get angry, the feelings inside of us build up, until……...Boom! (After 20-30 seconds each canister should “blow their tops off" giving an impressive display!)

Today we will look at anger, what it does to us, how we cope, and how Jesus displayed his anger.

Part 2 - Introduction of Anger

Have a pre-prepared poster showing the Four Faces of Anger.

A rule, a belief, or an objective is being threatened or abused. Unfairness.

You are disrespected, rejected, or ignored. Sense of insult or humiliation. Can be physical or psychological.

Your freedom or personal space is being restricted or violated. Your identity is being attacked.

You have energy and determination to do something about injustices, injuries, and invasions. You challenge the status-quo.

Get group to suggest situations that give rise to each facet. Which one, mostly, causes them to get angry? INJUSTICE? INJURY? INVASION? INTENTION?

Part 3 - Bible: John 2:13-22 read together

What was Jesus angry about?
Did he direct his anger at certain people, or what they were doing?
What “face of anger” was Jesus displaying?
What does this reading tell us about getting angry and being a Christian?

Part 4 - Drama
First explain that when we get angry, we react in two different ways:
Purposeful - showing self-control, and a degree of consideration for others.
Spontaneous – Unplanned with little or no self-control.

Our anger expressed can be:
Constructive – where we respect other peoples’ feelings and boundaries, and don’t threaten either.
Destructive – where you protect your own identity and violate other peoples’ feelings and identity, deliberately or unconsciously.

Create pictures or text to illustrate anger. Place pictures or text in a matrix, a box with four squares for students to act out impromptu dramas. Purposeful and Spontaneous are across the top of the box, and Constructive and
Destructive down the side. Then each drama piece refers to a combination of the types of reaction to anger.

Hand out drama pieces to four pairs and give them a chance to rehearse. Each drama piece shows an angry parent confronting a teenager who has come home late. Get them to work out whether this is on the doorstep when the teenager comes home, or the next morning. Each drama will portray one box in the matrix to dramatize a combination of the types of reaction to anger.

Purposeful and Constructive Anger
I’m angry. I let you go out on Friday night with the understanding you’d be home by eleven o’clock. Or, if you were going to be late, we agreed you’d call beforehand. When I didn’t hear from you, I was very worried. What
happened? I want to talk to you about you going out, and the consequences if this happens again.

Purposeful and Destructive Anger
I can’t believe how irresponsible you were last night. You didn’t call. You made me sick with worry. Do you expect me to trust you with going out late at night now? We’ll have to see when you can go out like that again.

Spontaneous and Constructive Anger
What the heck has happened! I was expecting a call. I’m really angry. I stayed up because I couldn’t sleep. (Teenager tries to explain, but parent is not really listening and interrupts with emotional voice) I’m too upset
to talk about this now. I’m going to bed. We’ll discuss this incident, and the rules for you going out, later on in the morning.

Spontaneous and Destructive Anger.
(In a rage) You're inconsiderate! I’m here, scared to death, not knowing what the heck has happened to you. You could have had an accident, been raped…. How should I know! Do you call? No, you couldn’t give a rip. You just think about yourself, self, self……. I’ll give you something to think about! You’ll never ever go out late again, d’you hear! Get out of my sight!

How did Jesus behave when he was angry?
What would be different if Jesus had behaved differently?
How do they behave when they get angry?
Does the Bible story teach them anything about how to behave when you get angry?

Part 5 - Quiet Time
(To background of quiet music – smooth classics is good)
Think about the times people have been angry with us, and why.
Think about the times we have been angry with someone and how we have behaved.
Share with God any hurt you have inside.
Admit to God where you think you might have done wrong.

Copyright 2005 Roger Taylor

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