Summary: This message deals with the answer to our angry moments - LOVE.
Anger Part 4 (Applied Love)
This message will conclude my series on anger. This morning we will revisit what Paul wrote to the Church of Ephesus in Ephesians chapter 4. Please turn with me to this chapter and we will begin reading at verse twenty-six. As we read this Scripture this morning I want you to think of a situation where you were very angry. Now imagine Paul speaking directly to you about this situation in an attempt to calm you down before you cross the line and sin against God. “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Ephesians 4:26-32; 5:1-2)
If I were to paraphrase key verses from this Scripture as I talked to someone I cared about who was angry, it would sound like this: “I know that you are angry and rightfully so, but you cannot respond like you want to and potentially sin against the God you serve. Why? Because we are living testimonies for God and our enemy will take our response and use it to destroy our testimony. So because you belong to God, you cannot go off on the person by raising your voice and cussing and screaming at them, even if they are doing that to you. Because the Holy Spirit dwells within you, He will enable you to withstand and speak grace to the situation even though that seems impossible to you right now. So please let go of the anger and bitterness that you are feeling knowing that your response to the situation is critical to your personal testimony. Apply love to the situation and for the person because only true love can defeat true anger. We are to imitate God in everything we do and God is love so in this situation that you are dealing with right now, see past the person, see past what has been said, and apply the love of God.” If you and I were having this conversation would you listen? Would these words help you to calm down and refocus on what is best for you and potentially the other person? Would you walk away feeling better or would you walk away thinking that in your time of need all I gave you was some religious mumbo jumbo when you were really seeking support and approval to handle your business? How would you respond to this advice?