What do you do when someone makes you really angry? [Wait for answers]
Here's what usually happens when someone makes another person angry: Let's call these two people Donny and Nancy. So Donny says something mean about Nancy and Nancy, who gets angry about it, says something a bit meaner right back. Donny, who is angry too now, says something even meaner, right in front of Nancy's friends. Nancy, who is even more angry now, tears up Donny's notebook. Donny, who is even more angry, pours paste in Nancy's desk. Nancy, even more angry now, throws a book at Donny. Donny, even more angry now... Well, you get the idea. There's even a big word for this sort of thing. It's call "escalation." Escalation means that each time, the reaction gets worse and the problem gets bigger. Escalation is not only not fun at all, but you can see that someone is going to get hurt before long.
Jesus not only says that we shouldn't act out our anger toward each other. Jesus says that someone who just calls his friend a "fool" should be taken before a judge! That seems harsh, but I think the point is that we don't want to keep on hurting each other.
What do you think we should do instead? [Wait for answers]
Let's ask God to help us in making the right choices.
God, we thank you for your love for all of us and especially the way Jesus shows us that we really need to work at loving each other. Help us to find ways to stop hurting each other; to stop acting out when we get angry with each other. Help us to, at least as much as it is up to us, be peaceful with others. Help us to share your love for others by being kind and turning away from anger.
We pray in Jesus' name.