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Summary: We need to get control of our anger & channel it into productive instead of destructive ways. It is important to understand our anger, realize what causes it, & how to control it. Let's look into the life issue of anger, see its problems & learn how to b

PROVERBS 22: 24-25

A LOOK AT ANGER

Anger is a universal human experience. It is an intense emotional reaction that may express itself through frustration, irritability, annoyance, impatience, blowing of steam, shouting, intimidating, insensitivity, fretting, quitting, back-bitting, depression. Thus there are many passages in Proverbs that focus on anger. We need to get control of our anger and channel it into productive instead of destructive ways. It is important to understand our anger, realize what causes it, & how to control it.

In his autobiography, Number 1, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle. Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked in with his friend.

Mantle's friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, and he didn't have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him. When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was

wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn't let them hunt.

"I'm so mad at that guy," Mantle said, "I'm going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!" Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, "We can't do that!" But Mickey was adamant. "Just watch me," he shouted.

When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule. As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to the car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too.

"What are you doing, Martin?" he yelled.

Martin yelled back, face red with anger, "We'll show him! I just killed two of his cows!

Anger... can be dangerously contagious. As Proverbs puts it, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul" (Proverbs 22:24-25). Let's look into the life issue of anger, see its problems and learn how to better resolve and control it.

1ST SOME RESULTS OF ANGER.

In Proverb 14:17 the emphasis is on a result of a lost temper. "A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated."

The quick-tempered or impatient man readily loses control of his temper. When a man allows his anger to run unchecked he will not act in a wise thought out manner. Flying off the handle causes a person to do & say things, which he may later regret & be unable to undo. The Hebrew word temper comes from the noun nostrils implying the flaring of the nostrils in anger. It has been correctly said that when your temper boils over, you usually end up in hot water. We have seen it over & over again in our lives. We must learn to control our anger before it grows from a weakness into a habit of deceitful scheming.

Proverb 14:29 contrasts the slow to anger (patient) with the quick tempered (impatient). "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly."

[ "Quick-tempered" is literally "short of spirit."] What does anger do to objectivity? Anger obscures the facts & makes us subjective & emotional. To see calmly is to see clearly or with understanding. Let me illustrate.

A man from Michigan had an idea for removing a TREE STUMP from the yard of a friend. He decided to use some dynamite he had stored away in his house. It did the trick. The explosion turned the stump into an airborne missile that traveled 163 feet down range before crashing through a neighbor's roof. The stump opened a 3-foot hole in the roof, split the rafters, and pushed through the ceiling of the dining room.

If we are honest, we can see ourselves in the actions of the dynamite user. We have used explosive words and actions to try to solve problems, which only made things worse. We get action, but we leave much damage in our wake.

We are not the first to let anger make trouble for us. It happened to people in the Bible too. Moses, for instance, became extremely frustrated with his murmuring followers (Num. 20:10). So, instead of speaking to the rock to get water, as the Lord had instructed him, he angrily struck it twice (v. 11). He did get water from the rock, but there was a problem-Moses had disobeyed God. Because of this angry response, God told Moses he could not enter the Promised Land (v. l2).

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