Summary: Learn to tame your temper in this simple message about anger control.
How To Tame Your Temper
How many of ya’ll have ever been angry? What happened when you got angry? How did you respond to people around you? Did you say things you shouldn’t have or things you didn’t mean?
A lady once came to Billy Sunday and tried to rationalize her angry outbursts. “There’s nothing wrong with losing my temper,” she said. “I blow up, and then it’s all over.”
“So does a shotgun,” Sunday replied, “and look at the damage it leaves behind!”
Getting angry can sometimes be like leaping into a wonderfully responsive sports car, gunning the motor, taking off at high speed and then discovering the brakes are out of order. We need to learn to control our anger. That’s why tonight’s message is called “Anger Management: How to Tame Your Temper.”
II. What is Anger?
Anger defined- a God given emotional response usually tied to a goal, value or expectation.
There are generally two ways to express anger: exploding or imploding.
Exploding usually takes the form of yelling, screaming, or hitting people or things.
Imploding usually holds the anger in and the person may huff and puff or say something under his breath.
James 1:19-20 “19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
What are some things we think of when we say the word anger?
What makes you angry?
Have you heard of road rage?
The phrase "road rage" officially entered the English language in 1997 when it was first listed in the New Words edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.
In Atlanta, Georgia a two-year old toddler was shot through the neck by an irate motorist engaged in an argument over a road incident with the toddler’s father (The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, 30 June 2000).
In Denver, Colorado a 51 year-old man used a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol to kill a 32 year-old bicyclist who cut him off on the road (The Denver Post, 21 June 2000).
Near Cincinnati, Ohio a 29 year-old woman cut in front of a 24 year-old pregnant woman and slammed on her brakes in an irate gesture following her anger about the latter’s driving. The mother-to-be lost control of her car in a violent accident in which her unborn child was killed (Newsweek, 02 June 1997).
In Florida, a 41 year-old man who pulled into an exact change lane at a toll booth was shot and killed as he exited his truck to confront an irate driver behind him who was annoyed at the 41 year-old’s delay in paying the toll (Car and Driver, September 1998).
It’s amazing to see how different people control or lose control of their anger. It’s been said that, “Your temper is the only thing you can’t get rid of by losing it.” So the other option is to tame it and be in control of your temper.
III. Temper, Temper
Proverbs 25:28 GNB “If you cannot control your anger, you are helpless as a city without walls, open to attack.”
Proverbs 25:28 MSG “28A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.”
The Bible says that it IS possible to control our emotions.
Galatians 5:22-23 “22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV “26"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27nor give place to the devil.”
The first principle for taming your temper is…
1. Admit that you’re angry
Verse 26 is a command. “Be angry” (can you obey that one?) Isn’t anger wrong?
Anger isn’t inherently wrong; in fact, even God gets angry.
When Christ was in the temple turning over tables, He didn’t do it with a smile on His face.
When He called the Pharisees a bunch of white washed tombs and a pit of vipers-- He wasn’t just trying to be politically correct. He was mad.
The Bible does say though that God is slow to anger (Ps 86:15). God’s anger lasts a moment, while his favor lasts a lifetime.
We said that anger is a God-given emotion, so if you don’t get angry, check your pulse because you’re not in touch with reality.
So, the verse is a command, but what is this command?
The command isn’t don’t get angry, its don’t sin in your anger.
There is some stinkin thinkin that says anger is always wrong, but God isn’t forbidding anger, He says “Go ahead, get mad.”
We’re emotional beings and we’re allowed to feel our feelings. We love to deny we’re angry because we feel guilty about it or we’re afraid of what we might do if we admitted to being angry.