Summary: The third message in a series on the seven deadly sins.
Virus – Hidden Infections in the Spiritual Life
Review: We’re in a series on the (7) deadly sins called Virus – (7) dispositions if left alone will invite a person to indulge in the desires of the flesh. We’ve looked at the viruses of laziness and lust. Today we’re going to put anger under the microscope.
Funny: (2) men are talking about anger one night. One said, “I’ll show you the difference. At 1 am, he goes to the phone and dials a number. He asked, “Is Jones there?” The man says “No!” The men continue until the same guy says, “Now I’ll show you frustration.” At 2 am, he goes to the phone and dials the same number. The man picks up, “What?” The guy asks, “Is Jones there?” Frustrated, he says “NO!” Then at 3 am, the guy says now I’ll show you rage. He returns to the phone and dials the number a 3rd time and says, “Hey I’m Jones. Have I gotten any calls tonight?
Intro: People do the craziest things when they lose their tempers. Have you ever seen a toddler throw a temper tantrum? They scream and yell and hurl their bodies to the ground w/ their stubby little arms and legs flailing in all directions.
How about a teenager who loses his cool? In high school I watched as a friend got so mad he put his fist through a wall destroying his chance at a scholarship.
Have you ever seen a young mother of preschoolers lose her cool? It’s not a pretty sight when pots and pans are slammed, toys are thrown, and the kids are being screamed at for doing things that little children do.
Or how about the man driving to work who gets cut off and in a fit of rage slams his fist, shouts a few expletives, and then attempts to hunt down the culprit w/ every intent to give them a piece of his mind – if not more.
Story: I was tested this weekend when my family went to the mall shopping. While Meg was trying on clothes, I was attempting to corral the kids. Now mind you it wasn’t their fault. It was after bedtime and they were just being kids, yet I was about to lose my mind – especially when they tipped over a rack of clothes. Listen, I understood irritation and frustration, and had it not been for the accountability of 25 women shopping, I might have experienced rage.
Trans: Anger – we all struggle to manage it and keep it under control, and yet, we all feel as if it is a right and privilege to express it as we wish w/out consequence. But it has become an infectious disease that is everywhere – in our homes, our cars, on freeways, at sporting events, at work, and even at church. It’s so bad that some social commentators have said we live in the “Age of Rage.”
Trans: What is it? Anger is a legitimate emotion often expressed illegitimately. Instead of serving as a warning light that something isn’t right (like warning lights on car dash) it usually becomes an action resulting in sin b/c we seek to bring harm to another.
Quote: Of the 7 deadly sins, anger is the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor the last toothsome morsel of the pain you’re given and the pain you’re giving back – in many ways it’s a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is what you’re wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.
Insert: How can I know if I have an anger problem? When you get angry do you hurt yourself? Do you hurt others? Do you damage property?
Note: Did you know the Bible speaks of the perils of anger 262 (x) in 256 verses. It says anger is an emotion we must learn how to control or else it’ll control us.
Verse: If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Do not give the devil a chance. Eph. 4:26 (GNB)
Trans: (1) Angry as an emotion isn’t sin, but it can lead to sin if it is not controlled.
(2) Anger unresolved gives the devil access to your life.
Insert: It’s not – how can I be good and mad, but how can I be good when mad?
Trans: Our example of course is Jesus. On more than one occasion He got angry, yet He never allowed His anger to become sin. (read Mk. 11:12-18 )
Note: Jesus had every right to be angry, but he didn’t take it personally and He never allowed it to control Him. Yes there was injustice and a reason to retaliate, but Jesus never took matters in His own hands – instead of fuming He forgave.