Writing Prompts: Anger

angry man cartoon
Image: Breaking Brown

Part 1: The Right to Be Angry

“When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry.” (Nehemiah 5:6, NIV)

Nehemiah had every right to be angry at the way the Jews were suffering at the hands of their own countrymen. We, too, experience justified anger. What is important is how we choose to resolve those feelings. Nehemiah first “pondered them in (his) mind” (5:7) and then acted.

Writing Prompt

Journal about circumstances that made you angry this week. How did you deal with your anger?


 

Part 2: Hearing, Listening … and Speaking

Hearing, listening, and speaking are very different activities.  Hearing is the actual physical act of sensing sounds. Listening requires interpretation of what is heard. Speaking can come slowly or quickly – off the cuff in anger or with thoughtful care.

“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” (James 1: 19-20).

Writing Prompt

Journal about how you responded today when someone spoke to you. Did you, hear, listen, or speak – or all three? Describe your manner. Did you interact carefully and with thought – or quickly and tersely?


 

Part 3: How Many Times a Day Do You Get Angry?

Studies show that most of us experience feelings of anger 8 to 10 times a day. Yet what is important is what you do with those feelings.

Proverbs 19:11 teaches us, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Sustained anger can adversely affect your health and attitude – but a healthy response to anger can prompt you to take steps towards good changes.

Writing Prompt

Become aware of how often you feel anger during the day. In your journal, jot down the incidents that lead to those feelings. What would it be like for you to overlook the offense that caused your feelings or direct your thoughts to a more healthy change?


 

Part 4: When to Let Go of Your Anger

When I allow anger to control my thoughts, I have little peace. I even have a hard time falling sleep.

“In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27, NIV). Hanging on to anger allows an open door to sin.

Writing Prompt

Are you holding onto to anger right now? Journal about why you may struggle with letting it go. What can you turn over to God?