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The Deadly Sin of Anger--Part One

(8)

Sermon shared by R. David Reynolds

March 2008
Summary: When wronged or hurt by someone we are often tempted to lash out in vicious anger seeking revenge.
Tags: Anger (add tag)
Denomination: Methodist
Audience: General adults
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above him.” Christians don’t lash out in anger to get revenge, we love and forgive those who have wronged us remembering the admonition of Paul in Romans 12:19, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
In His time, God will right all wrongs without any assistance from us. We are to put the commandment of Romans 12:21 into practice when we are tempted to be angry and get vengeance: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” When we seek vengeance, evil triumphs; when we forgive, good overcomes evil.
“On an old ‘Amos and Andy’ television program, Andy was angry. There was a big man who would continually slap him across the chest every time they met. Andy finally had enough of it. He told Amos, ‘I’m going to get revenge. I put a stick of dynamite in my vest pocket. The next time he slaps me on the chest he’s going to get his hand blown off.’ But Andy forgot that the dynamite would also blow his own heart out. Revenge may hurt the other person, but it always blows our own heart out as well.” [SOURCE: --Gaylord Goertsen in The Christian Leader (February 26, 1991). Christianity Today, Vol. 35, no. 7].
Roy Anthony Borges was sentenced to a term of 45 years in a Florida penitentiary for robbery. He has become a Christian and is a law clerk in the prison library. Roy tells this story in an article he wrote for DISCIPLESHIP JOURNAL and
MEN OF INTEGRITY magazine in 1998:
“Where the strong prey on the weak, loving your enemies can seem self-destructive. Rodney stole my radio and headphones while I was in the prison yard playing volleyball. I had no way to prove it and, since we couldn’t receive more gifts at the time, couldn’t replace them.
“The old Roy wanted to knock that wisecrack grin off Rodney’s face. That’s how I had solved my problems in the past. God’s been teaching me another way, however, since I became a Christian. He tells me vengeance is His. I decided to pray for Rodney.
“Later, my job as a prison law clerk took me to the confinement cells. Rodney’s days of stealing from other prisoners had caught up with him. As I passed his cell, he asked if I remembered him.
"Sure, you’re the guy who stole my radio."
"That weren’t me," he lied.
“‘That’s all right, Rodney, I forgive you.’ I forgot about Rodney stealing my radio and thought more about the fact that Jesus loved him. Soon I found myself helping Rodney and telling him about Jesus. Then one day I saw him kneeling next to his bunk reading the Bible, and I knew that good had overcome evil. [SOURCE: --Roy Anthony Borges in Discipleship Journal (9-10?98), quoted in Men of Integrity,
Vol. 2, no. 4.].
The late Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate.” [SOURCE: “Theft in the Cell Block” as posted on web site: http://www.christianitytoday.com/moi/2000/001/jan/31.31.html]
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