Summary: Anger, Hurting Others, Love, Patience
OUT OF WEAKNESS…STRENGTH - Peter: “I’m Such a Hot Head”
John 18:10-11 (p. 754) September 17, 2017
Almost every single time I go see my doctor she breaks out this little rubber hammer…I remember when I was little and got my allergy shots from Dr. Wheeler and since when he broke out that little rubber hammer asking him, “Do you have little rubber nails?” He thought that was hilarious…I was serious.
So, this last time I was with my doctor sitting on the edge of that metal bed and she whacked me on the knee with that little rubber hammer. I watched my leg jump involuntarily forward…I was really glad the hammer was rubber…and I realized I couldn’t stop this reaction if I wanted to…she’s checking my reflexes…it’s involuntary.
She also shines a light in my eyes and checks the dilation of my pupils. They contract involuntary. If they don’t, your dead and you see another light. I recommend following it.
We can do nothing about our involuntary reactions to light and little rubber hammers, but we have reactions that are completely voluntary also…and it’s those reactions to people and circumstances that reveal a great deal about who we are.
[Someone pulls out in front of you on New Circle Road…someone cuts in front of you at the checkout line at Kroger. Someone pushes past you to get a little closer to the stage. What’s our reaction?]
Hey!! Hey!!! Preacher…you quit preachin’ now and gone to meddlin'! My reaction to others when I’m mad has nothing to do with my Christianity!” Really?
I believe every single one of us in this room this morning are prone to react like Peter and draw our sword. We pull as close to their bumper as we can…we mumble…That was rude, some people can’t wait in line like normal people…we push right back and make our way toward the stage.
Listen Preacher….I just react…I don’t really think about it…Folks, that’s not completely true…we might have habitually honed a response to our anger…it’s our go to immediate response. We don’t have to spend much time thinking on the process because we’ve perfected it. “You’re a jerk and I’m going to teach you a lesson doesn’t take much time to think.” We go from anger to explosion in a heartbeat now.
God’s Word says, “Love is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Cor. 13:5). Proverbs 29:11 says, “Only a fool gives a full vent to their anger.”
James 2:19 tells us, “My dear brothers and sisters take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for our anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires.”
The apostle Paul warns us “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the Devil a foothold.” (Eph. 4:26)
Anger is a God given emotion…it’s something that scripture says God Himself experiences. Being angry by itself is not a sin…it’s no fun…but not a sin! But anger not dealt with or dealt with in the wrong way gives Satan a foothold in our lives…It makes us spiritually weak…it destroys our witness and does not allow the love of God to be a priority.
The way we deal with our anger can either glorify God or tear down His creation.
Let’s look at some Biblical truth this morning that allows God to be strong in our weakness.
I. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN YOU DRAW YOUR SWORD
Our text takes place in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus has been praying fervently to His Father. It’s been a prayer of complete surrender and trust as the cross looms near. His disciples have been on an emotional roller coaster ride. Grief, fear, doubt, anger…They are physically tired to the point of exhaustion…they go to sleep, more than once, even though Jesus has asked them to “watch and pray, don’t fall into temptation.”
Satan knows when we’re emotionally and physically tired. That’s when he puts his schemes into motion. Jesus knows it…so should we…he attacks when our guards are down, that’s why Jesus says, “Get up, and pray lest you fall.”
[If you’re on a diet, don’t schedule a meeting at Baskin Robbins or Graeter’s. If you’ve been away from your wife for a week, I wouldn’t schedule a dinner date with an old girlfriend just to talk. If you are emotionally down and tired and you have a choice, I wouldn’t go out on New Circle Road at 5pm.]
But sometimes we are faced with sword drawing moments that are beyond our planning…Like Peter, we are at the end of an emotional and draining day…He’d said earlier..that “he’d die before forsaking Jesus,” but that was before the passover meal, having his feet washed, and now in the garden he’s close to Jesus with James and John because of their friendship. He’s experienced a gentle rebuke for falling asleep…so throw a little guilt in there too.