Summary: This is a sermon that deals with anger and how to handle it.
PAUL’S PRESCRIPTION FOR ANGER MANAGEMENT 2/13/2006
A young girl who was writing a paper for school came to her father and asked, "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?"
We all face anger, and most of us experience it every day for all sorts of causes; someone going under the speed limit in the left hand lane on the interstate, or someone takes your parking space at Wal-Mart, or the copier jams again.
You’ve probably heard the expressions like “boiling mad”, or we had a “heated argument” or “I have gotten so mad that steam was coming out of my ears”.
So we know it is enviable that we are going to “Blow our top” from time to time, how are we to handle it? So this morning let’s look at the advice we read from Paul on anger management. First of all we must realize that…
Sometimes Anger is ok
Our text tells us, “Be angry, and do not sin”. We have this idea that anger itself is a sin. But it is not being angry that is the sin; it is the reaction when we become angry is what can become the sin.
Anger when held in can be both physically and physiologically unhealthy. That is where we get the saying that “I blew my top”, in other words, I lost control. Instead of me controlling my anger, it controlled me.
My wife Hope now has for a couple of years been saying that she wants a heavy bag to hit. Now you might think that sounds bad, but considering the alternative of her hitting me, I know what she is getting for Christmas next year. Physical exertion can help you to blow off the steam.
You read about these kids who after many years of someone picking on them, they take a gun and go into the schools for revenge. The same when you hear about someone going into their employer or former employer and shooting it up. They did not vent their anger till it was too late and they lost it.
But the release of anger does not have to be done behind closed doors. We should be angry when we had innocent babies are being killed daily. We should not be angry and want to do harm to the parents or the Doctor’s as some of these nuts do, killing the Doctor and then claiming that God told them to.
We should be angry when we have minorities like the atheist and the homosexuals trying to prevent me from expressing our beliefs in God. But God doesn’t promote hate crimes. Love the sinner, hate the sin.
There are things we should be angry about, and that is anything that is contrary to what God is or says.
Why do I think this? We are to be Christ like, in other words we are to model and mold our lives around Jesus Christ. We read in…
John 2:14-16 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen and poured out the changers money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Fathers house a house of merchandise!”
So does this mean that Jesus got angry? I don’t think He was asking permission to overturn their tables. These men where taking a place of worship and using it for their own personal gain. And I’m sure there were a lot more of them then there then there were of those with Jesus. But He was no wimp and I think they knew He meant business. 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.