Summary: This sermon helps us to understand what anger is and how we can tame this deadly monster. I. It is Okay to Get Angry Sometimes. II. Anger must be resolved. III. Some anger can lead to bad decisions.
There is a story of a girl who had to write a paper for school dealing with anger. She went to her father and said Dad what is the difference between anger and exasperation?” The father replied, "It is mostly a matter of degree. Let me show you what I mean."
With that the father went to the telephone and dialed a number at random. To the man who answered the phone, he said, "Hello, is Melvin there?" The man answered, "There is no one living here named Melvin. Why don’t you learn to look up numbers before you dial"
"See," said the father to his daughter. "That man was not a bit happy with our call. He was probably very busy with something and we annoyed him. Now watch...." The father dialed the number again. "Hello, is Melvin there?" asked the father. "Now look here!" came the heated reply. "You just called this number and I told you that there is no Melvin here! You’ve got lot of guts calling again!" The receiver slammed down hard.
The father turned to his daughter and said, "You see, that was anger. Now I’ll show you what exasperation means.” He dialed the same number, and when a violent voice roared, "Hello!" The father calmly said, "Hello, this is Melvin. Have there been any calls for me?"
Now surely you and I would not respond in that manner if someone called us like that, or would we? Over the next several weeks, we are going to be looking at some of the ugly monsters that are in our lives and how you and I can remove these monsters from our lives. Today’s monster is the monster known as anger and I want to help all of us come face to face with this monster and come away with an anger management program. So that the next time the copier jams at work or someone cuts you off on the road or the vending machine takes your money that we will not have steam coming out of our heads as we deal with the battle with the monster Anger.
So I wonder, is there anyone in the church today that has ever been angry? If you say no, then let me ask you? When you were a little child did you ever throw a temper tantrum? Did you ever scream yell and hurl your body in an unbelievable fashion with arms and legs going in directions you did not know they could go? If so then you have been angry before.
We must be honest today and realize that anger is a serious problem in today’s society. It can be found in homes, roads, schools, ball fields, work and just about anywhere and everywhere today. Statistics show that 1 out of ever 5 Americans has an anger management problem. And the problem with anger is that it can destroy a person if it is not handled properly. It is an important issue as the Bible speaks about anger 262 times in 256 verses. We must learn to control our anger so that it does not control us.
This morning I want to begin a new series that is going to be tough. So this morning let’s look at the advice we read from Paul on anger management. First of all we must realize that…
I. IT IS OKAY TO GET ANGRY SOMETIMES
Okay, you heard me write and you need to write this down. I’ll say it again It Is Okay for us to Be Angry sometimes. Look at the first part of verse 26. The KJV says “Be ye angry, and sin not.” The NIV says “In your anger, do not sin.” Let me share something with you today. And this is vital in our understanding of anger okay. Anger in itself is an emotion like crying, laughing etc. Anger in itself is an emotion and is not a sin. When you get angry you are not sinning, okay. It’s the reaction when we become angry that can become the sin. It’s how we treat our anger.
In our passage today Paul is helping us to look at anger in a different light. Anger has been created for a good purpose with good intentions but what happens is when it turns into selfish purposes and bad intentions.
So while Yes, the Bible does say that you can become angry, we must also read the next words. The KJV says Be ye angry but sin not. The NIV says in your anger, do not sin. So while it is okay to have a Godly anger we must not allow our anger to control us and to lead us away from God.
Some people would ask the question “Well what is it okay to get angry about?” Well the best answer for that is that it is okay to get angry at the things that make Jesus angry. Now did Jesus ever get angry? You bet he did. Probably the most famous example is found in Matthew 21: 12-14. GO ahead and turn with me there for a moment but keep your finger in Ephesians. It is here in which Jesus enters the temple and sees people buying and selling animals in there. They had corrupted the temple and Jesus was hot and became angry. It says that Jesus began driving out those who were buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling things. But notice his anger. And Jesus actions of turning over the tables and chasing the dealers out was not an act of anger toward the people as it was a healthy anger directed at the lack of respect for God’s house.