Summary: In this sermon, we explore anger myths, anger truths, and anger management.
A. If I were to ask you, of all the human emotions you are capable of experiencing, which one seems to be the most difficult for you to cope with, my guess is that many of us would report that anger is the one that gives us the most trouble.
1. Anger is such a complex and challenging emotion.
2. It is complex because it can surface at the strangest times, brought forth for the strangest of reasons, and exhibited in the strangest ways.
3. It is challenging because if anger is not handled properly, it can be a very dangerous and destructive thing. It can hurt us and others in every possible way – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
4. Because life can be a very anger provoking experience, we all must learn to deal with anger.
B. I heard a story about a man who was taking a flight from L.A. to Dallas, but the plane he was on was to continue to N.Y.
1. The man was not continuing with the plane to N.Y. but had an important meeting in Dallas.
2. He was very tired and was very concerned that he might fall asleep on the plane and sleep right through to N.Y.
3. So, he instructed the flight attendant that he was going to nap, but that she must be sure to wake him up when they stop in Dallas.
4. He warned her that when he is woken up he is often very grouchy and uncooperative, but that regardless of how ugly he might be at the time, make sure he gets off at Dallas.
5. She said she would and he was asleep before they reached cruising altitude.
6. Well, the next thing he knew he awoke to hear the pilot say, “Welcome to N.Y.”
7. He couldn’t believe it. He was livid. He went to that flight attendant and read her the riot act, veins popping, and using every nasty word in the book.
8. After the irate man left, another passenger apologized to the flight attendant saying that he had never seen anyone so angry.
9. She said, “Thank you, but that was nothing compared with how mad the man was that she forced off the plane in Dallas.”
C. I want to say at the outset today, that there are likely some among us who are in serious need of an anger makeover.
1. I must confess that anger has not been the Achilles heel of my life. And for that I am thankful.
2. For some of you anger has been the hardest thing for you to deal with in your life.
3. Some of you have likely done so successfully and others not so successfully.
4. I want you to know that I want to speak about anger with compassion, because I know that many of you have struggled hard to control this monster.
5. For some, their experience with anger as been one of failure as they have seen anger get the best of them time and time again – destroying relationships and righteousness.
6. What you won’t hear me say today is that dealing with anger is easy and that there is a magic pill that you need to take that will cure all.
7. What you will hear me say today is that dealing with anger is critical, it must be taken seriously, and that the promises of God include the ability to tame the temper.
8. I’m hoping that today’s sermon will give all of us the hope and help that we need.
D. Let me ask you a few questions.
1. All of us have moments of anger, but do you find anger to be a frequent companion?
2. Are you known for your quick temper?
3. Do you live with long periods of time in a state of mad?
4. Well, let us all acknowledge that God has not designed us to live that way, and that we invite a lot of trouble if we do.
5. Solomon had a lot to say in Proverbs about anger. Proverbs 29:22 says, “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.”
6. We cannot consistently be angry people and reflect the character of Christ.
7. If we are going to look like Jesus then we need to learn to control and channel our anger.
E. We have been saying in this Extreme Makeover Series that the behaviors we need to change are usually motivated by some kind of deceptive thinking.
1. Therefore, to change the behavior, first we must change the thinking.
2. Anyone who says, “I’m just so mad, I can’t think straight!”, is telling the truth.
3. One reason we get so mad so often is that we are not thinking straight.