Summary: Anger is a problem all of us deal with. Anger isn’t a forbidden emotion, but sinning while your angry is forbidden...
Last week, we talked about how worry and our desire to master control over our lives goes hand in hand.
Worry impairs a Christian’s ability to walk in faith. It impedes our ability to move forward in our lives as Godly men and women.
In fact, God never intended for us to be in full control. Yes, He gave mankind full dominion over His creation, but not full control. There’s a difference between dominion and control. If God gives me dominion over something, I still answer to Him as the steward of His property, but that doesn’t give me full control over the circumstances that take place on that property, does it?
God is still in control, even when I think I’m in full control… Because His design for my life was for me to fully depend on Him and to learn not MASTER control, but SELF CONTROL.
The fruit of the Spirit is SELF-CONTROL, not MASTER CONTROL.
Self-control is a complex issue, because there are so many things in our selves that want to be out of control, that need to be brought under submission:
Our Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Sexual Desires, Lying Tongues, Greed, Lust, Worry… Our ANGER.
Today we’re going to stop and talk about anger.
Proverbs 29:11, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
Malcolm was a man who had a hard time keeping his temper under control. He and his pastor decided to play 9 holes of golf together one morning, and after leaving three straight putts on the edge of the cup, Malcolm just lost it! He screamed out loud, "I missed! HOW IN THE WORLD COULD I MISS?!" With that he heaved his putter into a nearby lake, kicked a wheel on the golf cart and drove his fist into a nearby tree.
The pastor was absolutely shocked. He had never seen Malcolm express his anger like this before. Standing there in awe, he wondered how many counseling sessions it was going to take to set Malcolm straight. He figured, “I’ll put the fear of God into Malcolm.”
The pastor said, "Malcolm, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a terrible display of anger. Don’t you know that God doesn’t like it when we’re angry? In fact, I’ve heard that there are angels whose sole duty is to search out people who vent their anger the way you did, and to send lightning bolts from heaven to burn them to a crisp."
Malcolm was embarrassed. Heeding the warning of Pastor, on the next few holes, he managed to control himself. However, on the last three holes his putting failed him again. When the last putt veered off to the right just in front of the hole, Malcolm went crazy. "I missed!" he screamed. "How in the world could I miss?" He broke his club across his knee and threw it as far as he could, he kicked up several large clumps of dirt on the edge of the green, and once more drove his fist into a nearby tree.
Suddenly as the pastor stood there watching Malcolm in awe, the sky grew dark as an ominous cloud passed over. There was a rumble of thunder and an awesome blast of lightning shot down out of the sky. With a loud ZAPP the pastor was burned to a crisp!
At that, an eerie silence filled the golf course. Not even the birds dared to chirp… While Malcolm was wondering, “Why was the pastor stricken because of my anger problem?” It was then that he heard a far off voice from the heavens saying, "I missed! How in the world could I miss?"’
Friends, let’s not MISS the point today ourselves… God doesn’t like it when His people let our anger get out of control. Anger is a problem all of us deal with. To some degree, we can all relate to Malcolm. In fact…
· One out of every five Americans has an anger management problem.
· Anger related violence is the reason stated for 22% of the divorces in middle-class marriages.
· According to FBI statistics, 28% of the homicides in the US were brought on by arguments that occured in the home. Gang related killings accounted for only 7.6%.
So you have 4 times the chance of being killed by your own family than you do by gangs, all because of anger… That’s comforting to know!
Anger is contagious and dangerous…
It’s an emotion strong enough to cause people to do things in the heat of the moment that they would never consider doing otherwise.
? Can you remember a time when you said something you regretted saying in the heat of anger, or you did something you wouldn’t normally do, all because you let your anger get out of control?