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Be Calm



Scripture: 1 Samuel 18:6–11, 19:9–10; Proverbs 12:16, 14:17, 29; 15:18, 19:11, 19

Memory verse: Proverbs 16:32
“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.”


Begin this study with a demonstration of how anger makes people react. You will need a glass container, baking soda, vinegar, and water.

Begin the illustration by sprinkling baking soda in the container. As you work, explain that sometimes little things come into our lives that cause us to feel angry. Then we may lose our self-control. Let the students mention some things that make them angry.

As the students talk, put a few drops of vinegar onto the baking soda in the container. The baking soda will begin to fizz. Tell the students that a hot-tempered person needs only a small reason to become upset, just as it took only a few drops of vinegar to make the baking soda fizz.

Ask the students what they do when they feel themselves getting angry. Explain that sometimes it is hard to keep angry feelings under control. That is when we need more strength than we have in ourselves. Tell them God wants to help us control our anger, but we must ask Him for help and do our part to keep a close relationship with Him so we can receive His help. God will give us strength to be calm in turmoil. As you talk, add some water to the soda to stop the fizzing.

Hearing God's Word

Ask: Why do people lose their temper?” (Allow discussion.)

“Ask: “Have you ever lost your temper? How did it feel?” (These questions will help students relate real-life experiences with the lesson topic.)

When a person is angry, it seems at that moment it would feel good to say or do something to release the angry feelings.

Ask: “What often happens when a person loses his temper and says or does things against someone else?” (Let the students respond.)

The person usually finds he has more trouble than he had before. Anger is a natural human reaction when things go wrong or when someone says or does something we do not like. It is not a sin to feel angry. But if we release our anger by saying harsh words or by doing unkind things, we are letting anger control us – and that is a sin. God desires to be our Master. If we feel ourselves becoming angry, we can ask God to take control of our anger and help us respond with love instead.

Saul’s Fits of Anger

The Bible gives several instances of people who became angry and reacted in wrong ways. One of these people was Saul, the first king of Israel.

Saul started out as a good king. After a while, Saul began to change. He forgot about serving God. He did things his own way instead of waiting for God to act. Because of that, God told Saul He would make someone else king.

Ask: “Do you know who that person was?” (Allow responses.)

David was a young man who loved God with all his heart. He loved God and trusted God to help him kill Goliath with only a sling and a stone. After that, David became a hero. People thought of him as a great soldier—even greater than King Saul. (Ask a student to read 1 Samuel 18:7, 8.)

It made Saul angry to hear the people sing about David’s triumph in battle. He resented all the attention David was getting.  After all, Saul was the king. He was supposed to be the most admired man in the kingdom—not a young shepherd boy like David!

Saul let his anger take control of him. On two different occasions David was playing his harp for Saul, something he often did. But on these two days, Saul threw his javelin (spear) at David in hopes of pinning him to the wall. (Ask two students to read 1 Samuel 18:11 and 19:10.) Saul’s anger even caused him to try to kill David.

Anger—an Unnecessary Burden

We may never get angry enough to hurt someone physically. Sometimes, however, we are tempted to say things to others that might hurt them inside. This happens when we let anger control our lives.

Ask: “How many of you have ridden a horse?” (Allow responses.)

How many of you have had a horse ride you? That sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Anger can be like a powerful horse. When we control anger, we can spend our time and energy on worthwhile things. When anger controls us, we become burdened down, somewhat like a person who is being ridden by a horse! Either we will control our anger and be successful Christians in that area of our lives or our anger will control us, and we will be poor witnesses for Jesus. Short-tempered people can become so miserable that almost anything makes them angry. They can even become angry because someone else is happy!

(Ask a student to read Proverbs 14:17.) No one likes to be around someone who is constantly angry about something or consistently wants to get revenge. When we “blow up,” we not only show a poor witness for Jesus, we also risk losing friends.

Help to Overcome Anger

Ask: “What should a person who has a hot temper do? Should he just accept that it is just the way he is?” (Allow responses.)

God understands the struggle we have in keeping our temper at times. He sent His Son Jesus to live here as a man, so He knows our temperament and what it is like to be tempted. Jesus died for our sins. Then He sent the Holy Spirit to give us power to control our temper.

(Ask a student to read Galatians 5:22, 23.) These verses list the fruit of the Holy Spirit.)

Ask: “What is the last fruit of the Holy Spirit mentioned?” (Allow response.)

Self-control is the last one mentioned. Is this kind of self-control gritting your teeth and just “toughing things out?” No, this is control with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can help you live your life from a different viewpoint—one that includes love, peace, and joy.

Angry Situations

Consider the following situation and think of different ways it could be handled:

Jacob had wanted to play on his school’s football team ever since the season started, but he never got to. Philemon always played, and he loved to “remind Jacob of it” when he was around Jacob. One day Philemon reminded him once too often, and it really made Jacob angry.

Ask: “What could Jacob do?” (Allow responses.)

Jacob could say ugly things to Philemon, or report Philemon to the coach. He could also talk over his problem with someone he trusts, maybe his parents, his pastor, or a good friend. Sometimes talking about a hurt or a problem helps us feel better. Jacob could also pray about it. He could practice extra hard to improve his ball handling and his quickness. Maybe Philemon was chosen to play because he had worked harder at football skills than Jacob had.

Trouble can help us grow if we ask God to help us behave the way His children should behave. If we give in to anger and let it control us, we will be unpleasant on the outside and unhappy on the inside!

Let us consider what our memory verse says about a cool–tempered person: “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). (Repeat the verse two or three times with the students.) Let volunteers tell what they think the verse means.

According to our memory verse, being cool-tempered is an important spiritual quality. It is greater for a person to control his own spirit than to conquer a city or lead an army.

Releasing Anger Constructively

God has made it clear that self-control is very important.

Ask: “What can we do when we feel as if we could explode inside?” (Allow responses.)

First, we should pray that the Holy Spirit will help us control our temper. Then we can work off the excess energy, created by anger, by doing something constructive. We can vigorously exercise, perhaps by riding a bike or running down the road; or we can do something productive with our energy like cleaning the yard. This gives us something good to show for our anger—rather than destroying something or hurting someone.

Another thing that can help when we are angry is to try to see the other person’s point of view. Even when we think another person is wrong, we can learn something from trying to see why he is acting as he is. The most important thing to remember is to invite God to direct our thoughts, and ask for the self-control the Holy Spirit gives.

Accepting God’s Word

Point out to your students that Jesus wants to be Lord of our lives. He wants to be the Master of every situation—even those times when our temper seem uncontrollable. Explain that for Jesus to be our Lord we need to repent of our sin and invite Him into our lives.

Ask your students to think about what their biggest problem is in controlling their anger. Remind them that God wants us to use self-control in every area of our lives. This includes the areas that cause us problems or seem like they are part of our nature. Suggest that they ask God to help them practice self-control when faced with situations that try their temper. They should try saying the memory verse over and over when they feel angry, until they no longer feel angry.

Fula Jalon History

The Fuuta Jallon area was settled by the semi-nomadic Fula or Fulani people over successive generations between the 13th and 16th centuries. Initially they were a traditionalist people called Pulli or Pular, from which the language derives its name. In the 16th century, an influx of Muslim Fulɓe from the Macina area of Mali changed the fabric of Fula society.

The region was first organized as a separate political entity as a result of the Fulbe and Malinke jihad in the late 1720s. As a Muslim theocratic state, Fouta Djallon dominated both central and coastal Guinea until it became part of the French colony of Guinea. Timbo was the seat of the Fulani emirs until its occupation by French troops in 1896.

The French were not satisfied with mere dominance of the coast and increasingly one-sided trade with the Fulbe. They began making inroads into Fuuta Jallonke by capitalizing on its internal struggles. Finally, in 1896, at the battle of Pore-Daka, the French defeated the last ruler of the Fuuta Jallonke.

God's Hand Revealed

1. Revealed in visas being granted to messengers,
2. Revealed by the acceptance of messengers into certain communities,
3. Government officials and chiefs to give permission for messengers to openly preach the gospel among the Fula Jalon.

Prayer Promise

"Let your hand be with me" (1 Chronicles 4:10).

Remember: BE CALM

Memory verse: Proverbs 16:32
“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.”

1. Control your anger.
2. Get the facts.
3. Pray. Make your decision and move forward.

Pray for God's hand of blessing to be evident in Fula Jalon ministry.

Study 12 | Migrants—Proverbs | africaatts.org/go-teach

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