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Summary: This sermon continues the James 1 series that talks about the various ways God communicates with us and contrasts that with how to avoid anger.

HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU

James Series 8: Anger

INTRO: RAIN AND SUNNY WEATHER (This is my news article, use what parts you like)

About 10 years ago or so, an upstart band named Ugly Kid Joe sang a song titled “Everything About You.” It had a rockin’ beat that youth at that time sang along too, and the refrain was sort of catchy for the words were simple and minds that were easily amused could learn them quickly and sing along with them. Of course, the song had a major problem as one would guess by the song’s title, it spewed hate.

The first line opened up, “I, hate the rain and sunny weather, and I hate the beach and mountains too.” Wow. Halfway through the first stanza, most of the weather conditions are obviously not liked by the main singer. And two of my most favorite places in the world, the beach and the mountains, are not enjoyed either.

The band continues…”I don’t like a thing about the city, no, no, and I, I, I hate the countryside too!” Now Ugly Kid Joe has my country wife, who grew up in a small rural town with one blinking stoplight, up in arms!

But his message gets worse, his refrain states, “I get sick when I’m around…I can’t stand to be around…I…hate everything about you, everything about you, everything about you, everything about you!” At first listen, I would say that this band has some anger problems, wouldn’t you say?

So what causes a man or woman to spew such venom, to deny all the words written about in James chapter 3, in what I symbolically call the “Control Thy Tongue Chapter” of the Bible? Even if a person was joking, or even if they really felt this way, why put it onto the airwaves? And why would anyone with a discerning nature ever choose to listen to such garbage? Could it be…because we as mere mortals…are angry too? The Bible says a lot about anger and hatred.

James 1:19-20 states, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” Ecclesiastes 7:9 orders, “Do not let yourself be quickly provoked, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” And Proverbs 19:11 tells us, “A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” With so many verses reminding us to prevent ungodly anger, then maybe we should take that request seriously.

A song about pure hatred is definitely not the song one would expect from a band that performed a fairly successful remake of Harry Chapin’s classic Cat’s in the Cradle. But then again, we should also have the expectation that Christians who know the Lord Jesus should abstain from becoming anger quickly. The next time our boiling point increases, let’s turn down the temperature, and look for calmness in both the rain and the sunny weather.

BIBLE VERSE: James 1:19-20

19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

1. QUICK TO LISTEN:

BIBLE VERSE: James 1:19-20

19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

I repeated this here because this is the central verse of the whole lesson. But the phrase on the surface doesn’t seem to make all that much sense. How does a person be “quick to listen?” I mean, I know “quick to avoid being hit by a dodgeball,” or “quick to ask a girl who just got dumped out.” But, quick to listen?

DOUBLE MESSAGE: This lesson absolutely refers to listening to others…but it also refers to listening to the Lord! Seriously, lost in the hustle and bustle of our world is the fact that there is an omnipotent God who wishes to communicate with us. How?

GOD COMMUNICATES TO US IN 4 WAYS:

A. God Communicates Through the Bible

To listen to his voice and discern his Word, we must be in His Word. God can communicate his Word through a variety of measures: counseling, song, books, DVDs, etc. But by far in the modern era, the primary message from God outside of personal Bible reading is through the local assembly gathering to hear the word.

B. God Communicates Through the Holy Spirit

Given to us by God at Pentecost, the Spirit now resides inside those of us who know and love the Lord.

C. God Communicates Through Events in our Lives

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