Summary: When you have a disagreement with someone you love, you don’t want to hurt them by allowing your anger to get the best of you.
HOW TO GAIN CONTROL OF YOUR ANGER
JOKE: There was an elderly woman preparing to park her expensive Cadillac when a young high school student cut her off and stole her parking place. The young man jumped out of his car and shouted " OH, TO BE YOUNG AND FAST ". The older lady backed her car up, then floored it and started using it for a battering ram to demolish the young man’s car. She then rolled down her window and shouted, " OH, TO BE OLD AND RICH."
Fact is young or old, rich or poor, we all struggle to some degree or the other with anger.
Anger is a legimate emotion until we loose control and go crazy. I want you to notice that the bible did not say, " LOVE IS NEVER PROVOKED OR ANGERED." But " LOVE IS NOT EASILY PROVOKED OR ANGERED. " Anger in itself is not a sin. It’s how we respond to anger that determines if it is sinful or not.
Apparently America has a problem handling its anger. This past year, over half of the murders in America were committed by people who knew the victim. Six million wives were beaten by their husbands. Ten million children were beaten by their parents to the point of abuse. These people are not monsters. They just do not know how to control their anger. It has reached crisis proportions. That is why tonight, as we continue in our series on Chapter 13 of I Corinthians, I want us to look at what the Bible says about anger and how to handle it.
The word anger is used two-hundred and sixty-two times in over two-hundred and fifty-six verses in the Bible. Anger is an issue that we need to learn how to properly deal with. People are not crazy but many of them just don’t know how to control their temper, their anger.
We need to realize that there is a time and there is a proper way to be angry. Even God Himself was angry, Jesus was angry. Jesus revealed His anger. But there is a way to deal positively with that emotion and in the right environment and in the right way. The problem is that often as we allow our tempers to flare, that we fall into a pattern of sin.
The Bible says, "Love is not easily angered," Or as the KJV say’s not easily provoked. It does not say that love is never angered because love sometimes does get angry. Sometimes the loving thing to do is to get angry. But love is not easily angered. I am not telling you anything new when I tell you that the people whom you get angry at the most are those you love the most. Why? You get angry because you perceive that they are in the best situation to meet your needs and when they do not, you get angry.
Tonight, I want us to look at the six keys to managing your anger. God gave you the capacity to get angry. So therefore, anger is not necessarily sin. God gets angry. It’s how you manage anger that makes the difference. Anger managed correctly becomes an asset rather than a liability. You cannot always avoid anger; but, you can and must learn how to control it.
I. I COMMIT TO CONTROLLING IT
Proverbs 29:22 in The Living Bible says: "A hot-tempered man starts fights and gets into all kinds of trouble."
Let me ask you something, do you have an anger problem? Is your temper taking you down? Is the expression of your emotions short-circuiting your relationships? We can control our anger.
Let me just tell you this, the way you act is determined by the way you feel.
You quit saying you cannot control it and you start saying you can. You quit making excuses and resolve to deal with it. You can say all day long, "I cannot control it." And I will say, "I don’t believe that." Let me give you an example. Have you ever been in a fight with your spouse and the telephone rings? "Hello!" When that happens, notice how quickly you manage to control your anger. You have more control over your anger than you think. You begin by resolving to manage it.
II. I COUNT THE COST
This is what motivates us to change. The Bible says there is always a price tag. Proverbs 29:22 says, "a hot-tempered man commits many sins." How many of you would agree with that? How many of you would agree with these verses?
Proverbs 15:18, "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension."
There are two things that that scripture tells us. If we allow anger or our temper to continue to flare,