Summary: As we draw closer to God, we must look at our sinfulness. We're looking at the 7 deadly sins, today is anger!
The Great Adventure - Wrath (Anger)
Seven Deadly Sins
February 25, 2018
There’s nothing like watching a sporting event and seeing an athlete or a coach go ballistic. Whether they’re throwing chairs, throwing bases, or helmets, it’s actually appalling, but deep down it’s kind of funny watching others get crazy angry.
And that’s our topic . . . ANGER! We’re looking at the Seven Deadly Sins as we’re looking at ways to draw closer to God and determine what’s the antidote to those sins. Most of the sins on that list aren’t quite so obvious. We don’t always see envy or slothfulness, we don’t see the greed . . . but we do see the anger. It’s the most obvious of the deadly sins. Now, if we’re really good, we can hide anger in our hearts, but that eats away at us until we explode in a rage.
I’m sure most of you can remember times when your anger got a little bit out of control. Maybe you said something, or shouted something you could never take back. Maybe you broke something. Or maybe even you hurt yourself! Anger can be tremendously destructive.
Yet, here’s the thing about anger . . . too many people say, ‘oh, I can’t be angry, that’s wrong.’ Well, that’s wrong, because it’s ok to get angry. In fact, of the 7 deadly sins,
PRIDE LUST ENVY GREED GLUTTONY SLOTH
Only anger or wrath, can be a virtue. None of the other 6 have any good in them. In fact, it's the only one of the seven that we can legitimately say is found in God. God may be "slow to anger," but even God gets there sometimes.
As we look at ANGER, it’s also the only one of the 7 that must be managed. We want to get rid of the other 6, but anger can be good. Sometimes, we need to get angry. It’s a real emotion given to us by God.
As we move through this series, our desire is to better understand the sin, to ask God to help us, to heal us and strengthen us from the inside out . . . and then to grow closer to God at the same time.
Thus far, we’ve looked at pride, whose antidote is humility / humbleness; and lust, and the way to bring healing is through contentment.
So, let’s take a look at anger!
The first case of anger occurred in Genesis - - with the first family. It was 2 brothers, Cain and Abel.
Let’s look at Genesis 4:2-5 ~
2 Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.
3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground,
4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.
And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,
5 but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.
Anger is a natural human emotion. Something happened Cain didn't like, and he became angry.
Verse 5 tells us he was angry and his face fell . . . or was sad and downcast. We’re emotional beings, when we’re happy and times are good, we smile and jump for joy. When we’re sad, we cry and become discouraged. When we’re angry, we may yell and scream, sulk and become withdrawn. Remember, emotions are from God. They are to be a good thing. My hope is that we would express our emotions in a way which brings glory to God.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 ~
26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27 and give no opportunity to the devil. – Ephesians 4:26-27
Did you see what Paul said? He said BE ANGRY . . . but do not sin! How about that? Be angry, but in your anger don’t be sinful. Don’t explode, don’t be a volcano. And, when you’re angry, if possible, don’t go to sleep without a resolution. There have been times, I can’t imagine why . . . that Debbie hasn’t been overly thrilled with me. And there’s nothing worse than trying to go to sleep when the person next to you is angry at you! I’ve never had a good sleep that way!
And you see when you do go to sleep angry, and are ok with it, then the next time - - you know what? It’s even easier. And that causes division and separation in the marriage, it causes separation in our relationships. Sometimes, it’s ok to go to sleep without resolution, but it’s helpful to admit you’re angry and maybe need a night to sleep so you can think and feel more clearly the next day. Sometimes wisdom comes with a little time and what seemed so terrible, isn’t as bad as we first imagined.