Summary: ANGER IS AN ACID THAT DAMAGES THE VESSIL IT HOLDS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
Intro: Good old Fred was a faithful church member for the majority of his life, but now that his life was ebbing away in the hospital. Fred’s family called in his pastor to comfort and pray for Fred in his last few moments of life. When the Pastor arrived he spoke with the family and turned his attention to Fred and read some comforting words from the Bible. Then the pastor standing just left of Fred’s bed circled up the family around Fred for prayer. When he did Fred motioned for paper and something to write with since he was unable to talk. He quickly scribbled something on the paper and handed it to the pastor. It was just moments later that Fred passed away. The pastor took it and stuffed it into his jacked pocket not thinking it was appropriate to read it at the time, then said a prayer. The pastor forgot about the note until a few days later at Fred’s funeral. As the pastor stood in front of the family and friends just before closing his message he remembered the note and happened to have on the same jacket as the last time he was with Fred. The pastor then addressed the congregation as he took the note from his jacket pocket. He felt it would be inspiring to read the last words Fred was thinking before he passed from this life. The pastor then said, “you remember the note Fred wrote me just before he passed?” Then reading from the note it said; “QUICK MOVE TO YOUR LEFT YOUR STANDING ON MY OXYGEN CORD!”
Sometimes we have the best intentions while hurting those we’re trying to help. But sometimes regardless of our intentions people still get hurt and at times those people who get hurt are us. This morning I don’t want to talk about good intentions or bad intentions, I want to talk about dealing with the anger that hurt leaves behind.
ANGER IS AN ACID THAT DAMAGES THE VESSIL IT HOLDS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
WHEN YOU FORGIVE SOMEONE YOU SET A PRISONER FREE…..YOURSELF.
Gal 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Ephesians 4:26 In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
Is anger a sin? Was Jesus angry when he drove the moneychangers out of the temple? Yes! But if you notice Jesus was never angry with people when they mistreated him, only when they did something against his Father or to the poor and helpless. So yes it is possible to be angry with out sinning. But when we do experience the emotion of anger we must be careful in how we deal with it.
The first thing we learn from this text is that we’re not to let anger go unchecked. Don’t just cover it up let it go and say I’ll feel better tomorrow. Anger is to be dealt with and dealt with swiftly.
(v. 27) and do not give the devil a foothold.
When we crack the door just a little to let something negative into our minds and heart that’s all he’s looking for. With that he will blow the door open every time with a flood of evil and run as long and as hard as he can through our mind for as long as he can.
So how do we deal with anger? If we vent it out it becomes destructive to those around us and we teach ourselves to respond to anger with destruction. If we hold it in we become resentful and bitter. O.K. if we don’t vent it out or hold it in then how do we deal with it? We replace it. If anger starts in our minds then it must end in our mind. First we must replace the angry thoughts with Godly thoughts from the Bible.
Illustration: Corrie ten Boom told of not being able to forget a wrong that had been done to her. She had forgiven the person, but she kept rehashing the incident and so couldn’t sleep. Finally Corrie cried out to God for help in putting the problem to rest. "His help came in the form of a kindly Lutheran pastor," Corrie wrote, "to whom I confessed my failure after two sleepless weeks." "Up in the church tower," he said, nodding out the window, "is a bell which is rung by pulling on a rope. But you know what? After the sexton lets go of the rope, the bell keeps on swinging. First ding, then dong. Slower and slower until there’s a final dong and it stops. I believe the same thing is true of forgiveness. When we forgive, we take our hand off the rope. But if we’ve been tugging at our grievances for a long time, we mustn’t be surprised if the old angry thoughts keep coming for a while. They’re just the ding-dongs of the old bell slowing down." "And so it proved to be. There were a few more midnight reverberations, a couple of dings when the subject came up in my conversations, but the force -- which was my willingness in the matter -- had gone out of them. They came less and less often and at the last stopped altogether: we can trust God not only above our emotions, but also above our thoughts."