Anger
Kent was 10 years old.  He was mad because his mom made him go to Sunday School.  On his way to his class, he kicked a rock that was in the yard.
He bumped into a girl he passed.  He hit her pretty hard but he didn't care because he didn't want to be there.
He hit the door of his classroom with his fist.  It didn't even hurt his hand.  Well, maybe just a little but that was ok.  He didn't want to be there.
He swung open the door.  He swung it open so far, it hit the wall.  It made a big noise but that was ok, he didn't want to be there.
There were a few people inside and they looked at him.  He glared back at them.  He wanted them to know, he didn't want to be there.
"Good morning, Kent," said Mrs. Thomas.
Kent just stared at her, not saying a word.  He didn't care, he didn't want to be there.  He flopped in a chair and slumped down.  He was so mad at his mother for making him go.  He wanted to play baseball.  He was such a good player.  Why couldn't he play right now?
"Good morning," said Mrs. Thomas to the class.
Everyone greeted her but Kent.  He was mad and he didn't want to say good morning.
"Let's rise and say our opening prayer," said Mrs. Thomas
Everyone stood up but Kent.  He didn't want to.
Would you please rise, Kent?" asked Mrs. Thomas
"Why do I have to stand up?" snarled Kent.
"We are saying a prayer is why," answered Mrs. Thomas
Kent stood up slowly and kicked his chair out of the way.  It smacked into the wall.  That's ok, he couldn't sit in it right now anyway.

"...we ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.  Please sit down and let's start class" said Mrs. Thomas.

Kent went to the back to get his chair and he decided he would just sit there alone.  He slumped in his chair sulking because he didn't want to be there.
He started thinking of playing baseball.  That made him happy.  He was the best 1st baseman in the whole league. He was good.  Everyone knew how good he was.  He remembered a time...
Just then he heard the class laughing.
"What's so funny?" he thought.
He listened and didn't hear anything funny so he went back to sulking. The class was talking and seemed to be having a good time but he didn't know why.  He was mad because he had to be there.

His mind went back to baseball.  He remembered the time when he was on 1st base, the ball...
Just then a boy ran into him.  That was just too much!  Kent was really mad then.  "Why don't you watch where you are going, stupid!" yelled Kent.
"Kent, please," said Mrs. Thomas.  "No name calling."
"Well, he is stupid," shouted Kent.
"Haven't you been listening to what we have been saying here?" asked Mrs. Thomas.
No, he hadn't but he didn't care.
"We have been talking about anger and we have been talking about what the Bible says about it.  We said that if we are angry, we cant hear the Word of God.  Is that true, Kent?  Were you so mad you didn't hear the Word of God?" asked Mrs. Thomas.

"Geez," thought Kent, "that must be true.  I never heard a word."  Kent wouldn't admit it to anyone though.
"Yeah, I heard," he lied.
"Do you remember what Jesus says about it?" asked Mrs. Thomas
"Yeah, but I'm not saying what it was," shouted Kent.
Kent hadn't heard and he wanted to know.  He wouldn't admit that to anyone.
"The Bible says that Everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. (James 1:19B)." If you are mad at your parents, you are not respecting them.  You aren't honoring them.  You are breaking one of the 10 Commandments.  That is a very serious offense.  That is God's law.  Jesus tells us to love one another.  If we are mad, are we following His Commandment?  Anger brings nothing but bad.  Don't be angry.  Think first, ask God for help, " said Mrs. Thomas

What does quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger mean? asked Kyle.
"Jesus was always talking about "having ears to hear." In one Gospel, it says, "Take heed what you hear;" in another Gospel it says, "Take heed how you hear." We might hear, but not pay attention.  We need to hear with our hearts, too.  There are two things that keep us from hearing?  One is when we talk.  That's why James said, ' ...slow to speak..."  Most of the time, we need to be quiet.  God gave us two ears and one mouth.  That means we need to listen twice as much and speak half as much.  The next one is slow to anger.  If we are mad, we cant hear what is said.  We are concentrating on being mad and no matter what is said, we wont hear it.  We need to be calm.  When we are calm, we hear what God says and we can understand," answered Mrs. Thomas.

"Does that mean that we can never get mad?" asked Cindi
Mrs. Thomas smiled, "No, it doesn't mean that, Cindi.  Of course we will get mad at times.  Its how you handle your anger that matters to God.  We are all made in God's image.  God is with each one of us.  If we do or say bad things to another, its just like doing or saying them to God."
"My dad says we need to count to 10 before saying anything, " said Steven.
"Its important not to let your anger control you.  Jesus wants us to love each other.  If we are mad, we aren't loving.  If we aren't loving each other, we are making Jesus sad."

Kent had never thought of that.  He wasn't sure if Jesus could be sad.
"Can Jesus be sad? asked Kent.
"Yes, He can," answered Mrs. Thomas.
Kent didn't like that answer. He never thought of that.  He never thought he was making Jesus sad. He felt bad. He hung his head.  Now Kent was sad.
Mrs. Thomas saw Kent.  She knew he was sad.  She quickly said, "You know how to make up for that?"
"How?" asked Shelly
"You just tell Jesus that you are sorry.  Ask for His help for the next time.  That makes Jesus happy," said Mrs. Thomas.

Kent closed his eyes.  He said a silent prayer, "Dear Jesus, I am sorry for being mad. I am sorry that I got mad at my mom.  I am sorry that I called Jason stupid.  Please help me not to be angry. I am sorry."
Kent opened his eyes, he smiled.  Kent was happy.  Jesus heard his prayer and Jesus wasn't sad any more.
 

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