Summary: Chip Ingram arms listeners with the biblical methods needed to overcome negative emotions before they become issues in our lives.
I want you to write on the top of your notes, "AQ equals --" this is like algebra -- "AQ equals E," as in Edgar, "plus P," as in Peter, "0 -- times 0426." I wish I had a -- no, I’ll give that to again. Ready? AQ equals E plus P times 0426. AQ is your anger quotient. You know you have an IQ? We now know we have emotional intelligence. You have an AQ. You have an anger quotient. And your anger quotient is your environment plus your perspective times your obedience to Ephesians 426. Ephesians 426 says -- it’s the good summary of anger in Scripture. "Be angry." That’s a command, "Yet do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger lest you give the devil a foothold, or an opportunity.
So your anger quotient talks about the environment that you’re in. Certain environments raise the possibility of anger. Certain perspectives that you have either increase or decrease your relationship with anger. And it’s all tied into, no matter what your environment or perspective, obeying Ephesians 4:26. And so in the first half of tonight, I want you to circle the P -- or E, if you will, and I’m wanna talk about your environment. I wanna talk about the environment that ca allow you to be either more angry or the environment that can cause you to be far less angry. And I wanna read just a little section. My teammate -- I’ve never teamed up and done a book with someone before, and it’s been kinda fun to get a woman’s perspective, and especially someone that’s worked with so many people. She’s a practicing psychologist and counselor. And she did this experiment -- just a couple paragraphs.
She said, "One day I decided to keep a mental log of all the times I felt angry. I wanted to know how often I got angry, and what I got angry about, and what triggered the anger. I encourage you to try this, too. The results were surprising and quite humbling. I was shocked at how often angry feelings came to the surface. Prior to consciously counting these episodes, I had mistakenly assumed that anger was only an occasional visitor to my emotional arsenal. I was wrong, very wrong. I had to be honest about my feelings of anger, frustration, and actual infuriation. I had felt either flits or fits of anger at not being able to find my favorite socks, running out of milk, the kids taking too long to get ready, the slow driver in front of me, the long wait at the pharmacy, the store that was closed on Monday, having to put gas in the car, the price of the gas in the car, the long line and the slow service when I got gas in the card, the kids leaving their clothes on the floor again, the computer freezing on me again. And I was only halfway through the day.
"Though some of these feelings could describe fleeing frustrations, when I was honest, far too many of them were actual anger. Then came another humbling lesson. I realized that most of the day-to-day anger I experienced was all about small, insignificant stuff that I face all the time. When I stopped and looked at how often I got angry and what I got angry about, I had to admit that it happened too much and too often. Then I took a further step. I asked, ’What is it that contributes to anger of my day-to-day life?’ And the answer was surprisingly simple: stress, stress. The relationship between stress and
anger in my life isn’t unusual. The more pressured, burned out, overwhelmed, or busy that you become, the more your anger will lie at the foot of your feet ready to explode at any moment. The key to lessening our anger is our ability to minimize stress." Final line, "The more stress we’re under, the more likely it is that anger will make its appearance. Our goal is reduce stress."
And so I wanna just encourage you in our time together, I’m gonna be really, really practical, not an outline. I’m not gonna go to all kinda different text. I basically wanna give some practical wisdom about how to reduce stress in your life. I am Type A personality. I have been a workaholic. I have been characterized by being driven. I live in a very high-pressured world in sorta the California pace, and I’ve pastored anything from a member church of about 35 people where 34 of them are related. That produced a lot of stress, 6,000 or 7,000 people coming through the doors every six or seven days, and a very large staff and big budgets and being totally overwhelmed. And so all I wanna know is I understand what it’s like, and I just wanna walk through some very practical ways that people far wiser than me and many things that I’ve experienced that might help you.