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Summary: How to control our anger

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CONTROLLING ANGER

Sermon Number 4

January 17, 2010

Today is the big game. I have some concerns about today’s game for a couple of reasons. First, I am a little nervous about the Jets coming in and winning. The Colts opened the door for them, and they might just walk through. No matter the outcome of the game, there will be angry people. I just hope the Colts win!!

The 2nd reason I am concerned is because I will be watching the game with my sister and the rest of my family. You see, I grew up watching the Chicago Bears play football. When we weren’t at the game, we were sitting in my parents living room watching the games. It was my dad, Janet and me. We didn’t stop talking the whole game, we analyzed plays, hooped and hollered at the good, the bad and the ugly. We yelled, we argued, we disagreed, and we got angry. So, I hope today goes well, the Colts dominate the game, and Janet agrees with everything I say.

Now, on to the real talk about anger. Today, we’ll finish, even if it takes an hour, we’ll be done with anger, and move on to talking about forgiveness next week.

As a quick recap from last week, I reminded you that we can become very Hulkish when we become angry. We change from one type of person, a calm, sweet, seemingly normal person, into something that nobody can recognize. This dramatic change occurs because we’ve never learned how to manage our anger.

As we look at ways to manage our anger, we’ll look at 5 different steps which I believe will help us. I mentioned the first 2 steps last week.

The first step is RECOGNIZE YOU ARE ANGRY.

This seems like a no-brainer. Yet, if we cannot recognize when we are angry, then we will not be able to manage how we handle that anger. If you can’t admit you’re angry, then you will never be able to manage it in healthy ways. And your anger will have a dramatic impact upon others, especially those you love and who love you. Even passive-aggressive or anger avoidance can make you look Hulkish.

Proverbs 15:1 reminds us - 1A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. You can’t give a gentle answer if you aren’t in touch with what you are feeling at that moment.

This is the most vital step. No matter how you display your anger, you need to know your triggers. So the first step in managing our anger is becoming aware of it and admitting we experience anger.

Secondly, and along with recognizing your anger, UNDERSTAND WHY YOU GET ANGRY.

The better you understand yourself, the better you’ll be able to control your anger. Anger is simply a warning light. It isn’t your real problem. It says that something much deeper is wrong.

We become angry for one of four basic reasons:

1. We fear something or someone.

- Abuse, people who intimidate, dark places, closeness.

2. We have lost something we value.

- Gossip (friendship), a cherished ring

3. We are frustrated over a situation.

- building something, being late, playing a sport poorly

4. We feel inconvenienced about a situation.

- coffee not being made, long lines

Now that’s kind of where we left off last week. So, let’s move on.

Once we understand why we are angry, now we can work towards MANAGING OUR ANGER. That’s the 3rd step. Managed correctly, anger can be an asset rather than a liability. You can't avoid anger, but you can learn how to control and manage it.

Some of us say we can’t control our anger. That’s a lie. It simply means you don’t want to control it because you believe you control others with it. Have you ever had a heated argument with someone, then the telephone rings? Notice how quickly you can manage your anger! One minute you’re yelling and screaming, and the next, you’re pleasantly answering the telephone. You've got a lot more control than you think.

Have you ever had an argument and in the heat of battle, you lost it and said some pretty nasty things, some pretty hurtful things to someone you love? We make those comments because we do not know how to control and manage our anger.

Furthermore, some people like to be angry and yell and scream because it gives them a sense of power. They have learned that when they show their anger in an unhealthy manner, they intimidate others, and everyone always backs down to them, because you’ve got to walk on egg shells around them.

When we yell and scream, it’s often a sign of low self-esteem. Putting someone down for just a moment gives us that adrenaline rush and a feeling of power. But remember, it’s only temporary. The feeling lasts for a moment, but the damage from our explosion can last a lifetime. Resolve to manage it.

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