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Summary: Anger, while not sin, is a dangerous emotion that must be processed quickly and in a godly manner.

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How To Handle Anger

Matthew 5:21-26

INTRODUCTION

A. Dr. S. I. McMillen, in his book None of These Diseases, writes, “What a person eats is not as important as the bitter spirit, the hates, and the feelings of guilt that eat at him. A dose of baking soda in the stomach will never reach these acids that destroy body, mind, and soul.”

B. Anger is a natural emotion but there is a relationship between anger and physical disease. McMillen again writes, “We have heard people say, with clenched teeth, ‘I’ll get even with that skunk if it’s the last thing I ever do.’ Too often it is exactly that.”

C. Anger is dangerous.

1. It is destructive to ourselves, others and God.

2. Can lead to judgment.

3. Cause rifts between people.

4. Hinders our ability to worship God.

D. Anger in and of itself is not a sin.

1. It is a natural emotion created by God as a part of our makeup, but it can become a sin if not processed correctly and quickly.

2. Jesus got angry on two occasions when expelling those in the Temple who were cheating those bringing sacrifices.

3. How we handle it determines whether we sin or not.

E. Reasons we get angry.

1. Someone walks up to you and curses you out.

2. Find out someone is talking about you behind your back.

3. Cheated by someone.

4. Someone steals something valuable from you.

5. Boss fires you for no good reason or you get laid off.

6. Find out someone is flirting with your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend.

7. You are standing in line at a retail store and the person in front of you has 30 coupons.

F. Up until now Jesus has dealt with inward character.

1. Now deals with some negative things (murder, anger, slander).

2. Another example of how religious leaders had missed the law’s intent.

3. They taught murder is avoided by obeying the sixth commandment.

4. Jesus said being angry or calling another a fool is murdering.

5. Anger and slander takes something just as murder takes a life.

6. We can take a person’s dignity and reputation.

G. Jesus is concerned with the heart.

1. Also concerned with the outward act.

2. Heart is where the actions and attitudes come from.

3. Someone who has intentions to murder but something goes wrong. Such a person is not innocent.

ADMIT IT

A. Seems like a simple solution.

1. Don’t usually like to do this or admit we were wrong.

2. Hold it inside and allow it to fester.

B. Harms us physically, spiritually and damages relationships.

C. Why we have trouble admitting it.

1. The human mind is often deceptive.

2. Our pride.

3. Think of people who commit crimes but refuse to admit guilt.

4. We tend to hold anger inside and refuse to admit we are angry.

D. Anger has a destructive nature.

1. Destroys physically and spiritually.

2. Can actually become ill, develop ulcers, and have toxic hormones released into our bloodstream. It can even lead to death.

3. Grieves the Spirit because our bodies are temples of God’s Spirit.

4. Places us outside the will of God and he can’t use us fully.

5. God won’t bless us and we become a spiritual mess.

E. Cure is simply to admit it.

1. Admit it to God, ourselves and others.

2. We know, God knows and most of the time others know.

F. May 1931, “Two Gun” Crowley captured in New York.

1. Most dangerous criminal and would kill at the drop of a hat.

2. Parked beside a road when a policeman asked to see license.

3. Shot him, took his gun and shot him again.

4. Captured at his girlfriend’s house after a long and bloody battle.

5. Blood-stained note, “Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one-one that would do nobody any harm.”

6. Sentenced to electric chair and put on death row at Sing Sing.

7. “This is what I get for defending myself.” Wouldn’t admit his guilt.

8. Anger must be admitted just like guilt.

CORRECT THE INJUSTICE

A. Jesus, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift.”

B. Sacrifice is atonement for sin.

1. Designed to cover guilt.

2. Not a substitute for restitution.

C. We often do the same thing.

1. Come to God’s house and try to worship.

2. Can’t because we harbor unconfessed sin, possibly anger.

3. Try to clear our guilty conscience by religious acts not reconciliation.

4. Religious acts cannot make up for reconciliation.

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