Summary: How to Tame Your Temper (Ephesians 4:26-27) Anger is one of the seven deadly sins that all of us can relate to. If we are going to experience deepening relationships, peace in our hearts and joy in the Lord, we need to learn to manage anger.
The Crossing Community Church
“How To Tame Your Temper”
Pastor Jim Botts
July 14, 2002
After spending 3-1/2 hours enduring long lines, rude clerks and insane regulations at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Glenn Vaughan stopped at a toy store to pick up a gift for his son. “I brought my selection - a baseball bat - to the cash register,” he said. "Cash or charge?" the clerk asked. "Cash," He snapped. Then apologizing for his rudeness, he explained, "I’ve spent the entire afternoon at the motor vehicle bureau." The woman sweetly replied, "shall I gift-wrap the bat…or are you going back there?" I can second that emotion!
Have you noticed that people are more and more angry then ever before? Consider the following…
- One anger management firm stated that “one out of every five Americans has an anger management problem.”
- According to FBI statistics, there were 23,305 homicides in 1994 and the most common reason was arguments occurring in the home (28%). Gang related killings accounted for only 7.6%.
- Anger related violence is the reason stated for 22% of divorces of middle-class marriages.
- Studies show that 79% of violent children witnessed some form of violence between their parents.
- From 1995 to 2001 there were 1655 incidents of “air rage,” directing anger toward airline employees - according to FAA records.
- The phrase "road rage" officially entered the English language in 1997 when it was first listed in the New Words edition of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Why do we need a new word?
In Atlanta, Georgia a two-year old toddler was shot through the neck by an irate motorist engaged in an argument over a road incident with the toddler’s father (The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, 30 June 2000).
- In Denver, Colorado a 51 year-old man used a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol to kill a 32 year-old bicyclist who cut him off on the road (The Denver Post, 21 June 2000).
- Near Cincinnati, Ohio a 29 year-old woman cut in front of a 24 year-old pregnant woman and slammed on her brakes in an irate gesture following her anger about the latter’s driving. The mother-to-be lost control of her car in a violent accident in which her unborn child was killed (Newsweek, 02 June 1997).
- In Florida, a 41 year-old man who pulled into an exact change lane at a toll booth was shot and killed as he exited his truck to confront an irate driver behind him who was annoyed at the 41 year-old’s delay in paying the toll (Car and Driver, September 1998).
Sadly, examples like these are easy to find, we’re living in a world gone mad
In fact, as soon as we’re born, we come into the world kicking, crying & screaming, for many people - and not much changes after that.
Everyone gets angry at sometime. The only difference is how we deal with it or the intensity we deal with it. Some people blow up, other people clam up. Some people express it and others repress it, but neither are beneficial.
- Proverbs 25:28 If you cannot control your anger, you are helpless as a city without walls, open to attack (GNB).
The Bible says that It IS possible to control our emotions, be good AND mad Ephesians 4:26-27 gives us four principles we can put to use today to begin to tame our temper. The Apostle Paul is writing this letter from prison to a growing church that needed to learn about all that was available to them in their relationship with Christ. This chapter tells them about growing on to maturity, living out the new life they’ve been given. If you’re in Christ, you don’t have to be held down by past hang ups.
Read the passage: Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV
The first principle for taming my temper is…
1. Admit your angry
Verse 26 is a command. “Be angry” (can you obey that one?)
Isn’t anger wrong? (orgidzo – in the imperative mood – be angry)
NO: Anger isn’t inherently wrong as God Himself gets angry
In the Old Testament, God displayed His anger toward sin
In the New Testament, Jesus got angry at religious hypocrites
He got angry when religion replaced relationship with God
Anger is a God-given emotion, if you don’t get angry, check your pulse because you’re not in touch with reality..
What is this command?
The command isn’t don’t get angry, its don’t sin in your anger
There is some stinkin thinkin that says anger is always wrong
But God isn’t forbidding anger, He says “Go ahead, get mad”
We’re emotional beings and we’re allowed to feel our feelings.
We love to deny we’re angry because we feel guilty about it or we’re afraid of what we might do if we admitted to being angry