Summary: Titus 1:7
FREE FROM CHOLER
I have a confession to make to you this mourning. It may come as a surprise to some. But I have admitted it before. It is something that I have to go ask God for forgiveness over and over again. You see I have a problem with "choler" (cô-ler). No that is not the southern way of saying cola, but choler. Does any one here know what "choler" means? It means "a tendency toward anger". Means to be irascible, (ir-as-able). To have a hot temper, to be easily provoked".
Unfortunately that is something I have struggled with all my life. Now you may not have noticed that about me, I have been pretty good at hiding it. But if you were to talk to my wife and children they would tell you, that I can be choler. That have seen my in action, they have seen me be easy provoked by others, and at times with them. This is certainly something I am not proud of, but it is something I am aware of and working on through the power of God. I will say I am better then I have ever been.
Just there is no misunderstanding here I do not beat my wife or my children when I am angry. I just kind of act like a idiot.
Today I want to talk about anger and outbursts. Please turn with me to Titus chapter 1 verse 7, that would be page 1032 in your pew Bibles this morning. Let us keep in mind that Paul is giving to Titus the qualifications of the elders of the church, or the leaders of the church.
Titus 1;7; "For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,"
Now there are two phrases I this passage I want to deal with because I believe that they go hand in hand. That is "not quick tempered," and "not violent". Because of you deal with the "quick-temper" it will take care of any acts of violence, as that would be the root of violent acts.
The follow comes from a written rule of the early church, "We believe that the pastor who hits an erring believer should be deposed." That sounds like a good idea.
I believe that we can translate that phrase "quick tempered" with the word "choler". Because I believe that that is what Paul has in mind. Someone who has a tendency toward anger.
Some may be thinking well Pastor if you have a problem in that area does that not disqualify you from being a pastor. Well I guess to some that answer would be yes. But we must remember that Paul is not referring to perfection here. As I look down the list of qualifications I know of no man who can clam all these things. I know of no man who loves good all the time, if he did he would sinless, I know of no man who is just all the time, I know of no man who is holy.
So what is the point of the list? One reason is to make leaders aware of their weaknesses and to go to God for forgiveness and strength to overcome these faults in our lives. If I refused to ask forgiveness because of my temper, if I refused to go to God for strength to overcome it, then yes I would say I should not be a pastor. But I am keenly aware of the struggle I have will it and when it rears its ugly head I do humble myself before God and ask forgiveness.
But as we have stated right along with our study into these qualifications of an elder these are not things that an elder or pastor ought to be, but things that all Christians are to be.
I know for a fact that I am not the only one in this room who struggles with their anger, I believe we all do to a certain extent. So let us look at something’s concerning anger.
First we need to realize that anger from a quick temper is a mental attitude sin. While all anger is not sin, I would say it is very rare for us to be angry and not to sin. Most of the time our anger comes from our own selfishness, from not getting our own way. I these cases the anger itself is a sin.
Even if you do not respond to the anger, just being angry can be sinful, especially when it comes from selfishness, which again is usually where it comes from.
We will deal with anger that is not sinful in a few moments but right know I want us to look at some characteristics of sinful anger.