Summary: Learning to control your anger before it controls you.
Pastor Billy G. Lobbs
Theme: Learning to control your anger before it controls you.
Text: Ephesians 4: 26 - 27 (NLT)
"And don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the devil."
If I were to ask you, of all the human emotions you're capable of experiencing, which one seems to be the most difficult for you to cope with? I believe that the majority of you would say that dealing with the emotion of anger is the most complex and challenging of them all on a day in - day out basis.
-Complex - because anger can and will surface at the strangest times - brought forth for the strangest of reasons - and exhibited in the strangest ways.
-Challenging - because anger, if not handled properly, can be a very dangerous and destructive emotion. It can be hurtful to us physically - emotionally - relationally and spiritually. There is always a price tag for improperly handling anger. Anyone who has experienced an incident when they let their anger get the best of them will confirm that actions committed in that kind of anger are later regretted.
Proverbs 25:28 (GNB)
"If you cannot control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls, open to attack."
Most of us realize that people who can't control their anger have a real problem. What is your routine for handling the emotion of anger? Does it work? Not always? Seldom? Take heart! God has a method that does, and He tells us about it in His Word.
In this teaching I want us to look at God's biblical method for "taming the temper." Notice, I didn't say God's method for "getting rid of our anger," but for the taming of it. It is not in God's purpose to eliminate the ability to get angry. He put it in us to begin with. All anger is not bad. Sometimes it's good for us to get angry. Anger in itself is neither good or bad. It's why we get angry and how we express it that determines if it's good or bad, healthy or unhealthy anger. God has given us His Word and His Spirit to work in us to enable us to harness and take control over our anger so it becomes a positive and not a negative force in our life. He wants us "to be angry and sin not."
Ephesians 4:26, (KJV) Anger, managed correctly, can be an asset and not a liability. Anger is something we can't avoid, but it's something we can learn to control.
Anger has been compared to the combustible explosions in a car engine that produces the power to make the car move. When those explosions are under control, they will take the car safely to its destination. But, if instead of controlling the flow of gas producing these orderly explosions -- we ignited all the gas in the tank at once -- we'd blow both the car and ourselves up.
Proverbs 29:11, "A fool gives vent to their anger, but a wise person keeps themselves under control.
Four faces of anger---
There are four words we use to describe different levels or types of anger that we experience.
1. Rage - used to describe a short fused-intense-explosive-uncontrolled anger. It's a "fly off the handle," "let it all out temper blowout." that leaves you and everybody around you torn to pieces. We try to excuse it by saying, "I know I lose my temper real fast, but it's all over in a few minutes." So is a bomb explosion, but an awful lot of damage can take place in those few minutes.
Will Rogers once commented, "People who fly into a rage seldom make a good landing."
"When you lose your temper, you always lose."
Proverbs 14:17, People with hot tempers do foolish things."(LB)
Proverbs 29:22, A hot tempered man starts fights and gets into all kinds of trouble." (LB)
People who express this type of anger are walking time bombs with hair trigger tempers ready to explode. Typical excuses used by these "short fusers" sound like this: "I just couldn't help it. It made me so angry." or "It just got to me and touched off my temper." or "It's like something just came over me and I couldn't do anything about it."
James 1:19, gives some sound advice to "the ragers", "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."
The quickest way to cut your own throat is by your own sharp tongue by saying things you shouldn't have said because you "just had to get it off your chest."
A statement by Austin O'Malley puts it like this, "If you keep your mouth shut, you will never put your foot in it."