Summary: A sermon on when not to be angry, when to be angry, and how to deal with anger.
INTRO.: Tell the story of God’s question to Jonah. A valid question. There is a time to be angry and a time to not be angry. Someone has said, "A person who is angry for the right reasons against the right persons, in the right manner, and for the right length of time deserves great praise.
I. When do we NOT have a right to be angry?
A. Note Jonah’s angry prayer: 2,3
1. He is so angry he rashly asks for death.
2. He’s angry because of God’s compassion.
3. He wanted the enemies of Israel dead and things didn’t go his way.
1. He should have been joyful.
2. The younger brother had already spent his inheritance. What he is receiving now should have been the older brother’s
3. How often have families been split over inheritance?
4. ILLUS.: I witnessed a son’s anger about his father giving to someone else. It was embarrassing to me, and, I am sure, to him when he stopped to think.
C. Consider the temperament of Jesus:
1. How would we feel if someone spit in our face, slapped us, lied about us, and finally tortured us to death?
2. Matt. 26:62-67 He never became angry
3. Finally, He prayed, "Father forgive them."
D. The answer to the question God asked Jonah is "no," if we are Jesus’ disciples.
1. We have no right to be angry when things aren’t going our way.
2. Nor when others are being blessed.
3. Nor when we have been personally hurt.
II. When do we have a right to be angry?
A. One time when Jesus was angry: Mk. 3:5
1. Tell the story
2. Jesus became angry because someone He loved was being abused.
3. We should become angry when people are misused.
B. When there is sin and injustice.
1. When men harden their hearts against God. Heb. 3:8-11
2. Corruption and immorality in government.
3. Oppression of the poor
4. When men reject our God.
III. What is the best way to handle our anger?
A. ILLUS,: A preacher said of his antagonist. "I’m going to love her no matter what she does to me.
1. Overcome anger with love:
2. Eph. 4:26 don’t let it cause you to sin
3. I.e: Hate political corruption, don’t shoot politicians. Hate bribery, don’t kill judges. Hate abortion, don’t shoot doctors, etc.
B. Proclaim the Gospel.
1. When we tell someone else about the love of God and salvation through Jesus, it overcomes anger.
2. The Gospel has power to change hearts. The cause for anger may be eliminated.
3. The world isn’t perfect but it is better than it was 2000 years ago. Nothing else offers more hope.
C. Look to Jesus: I Pet. 2:21-23
1. He is our Example of a level spirit.
2. Pray and put yourself at His disposal. Don’t pray in anger like Jonah. Say, "Lord, what can I do to correct this situation that causes my anger?"
CONC.: "Anger is a divinely implanted emotion. Closely allied to our instinct for right, it is to be used for constructive spiritual purposes. The person who cannot feel anger at evil is a person who lacks enthusiasm for good. If you cannot hate wrong, it is very questionable whether you really love righteousness." - David Seamands
Do I have a right to be angry? Review.