Summary: This is part 3 of a series on Things I Wish Jesus Never Said. This sermon deals with anger and how it can destroy our lives.
Radical For Christ: Things I Wish Jesus Never Said, Part 3 Anger
How many of you have ever had to say something like, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to say that, I was just angry” or “I know I shouldn’t have done that, I just lost control.” How many of you know there are people in prison who led good lives for years and in a 60 second burst of anger, they did something that has them locked away for years and years to come.
For some people, if they could just erase 60 seconds of their lives, they would no longer be on death row, they would no longer be alienated from their families, they would no longer be unemployed, or they would no longer be away from the church. How many of you can think of 30 seconds of anger you wish you could take back out of your life?
I wish Jesus never would have said that anger is just a half step under murder and that I’m going to get in trouble for calling my brother or sister a fool or an idiot out of my anger. Doesn’t Jesus understand that when somebody cuts you off in traffic and causes you to spill your coffee or drop your cell phone, that you are justified in saying, “you idiot or you fool, what’s wrong with you.” We could think of a lot worse things to call them.
Jesus has this way of saying that our thoughts lead to actions. In the first week we saw how our greed leads us to robbing God of our tithes and offerings or turning away from helping our sisters and brothers. In the second week, we saw how our unforgiveness places us outside of God’s blessings and plans for our lives. Today we will see how our anger, leads us to murder. Anger leads to hatred which is the opposite of love, and then we have that other pesky verse in John that says, 1 John 3:15 (NIV) 15 Anyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him or her.
Have any of you tried to play a word game on God to get around this verse. Well God’s it’s not that I hate him or her, I just don’t really like them or I just prefer not to have anything to do with him or her. To grow in Christ, involves total honesty before God. You don’t have to go tell the person “I’ve been hating you”, but be honest with God, so that God can change the anger and hatred in your heart toward the person.
You may say but I really don’t have hatred per se. Are you assassinating or destroying a person’s character behind their back? That’s called anger in action. It’s the most dangerous kind, because we have not exploded in rage, so we think we have done nothing wrong. Yet we’re killing the person all the same.
Let’s look at just how far anger can take us. One day David, who had been a general in Saul’s army and a great hero to the people of God was running for his life from King Saul. David goes to the city of Nob and runs into Ahimalek the priest. Ahimalek was nervous when David showed up, and asked David why was he alone. Ahimalek knew David usually had men with him so this was unusual. Ahimalek’s fears were put to rest when David lied to him, and said that he was on a secret mission, that nobody was to know about from the king. His men were hiding in a place that he was to meet them on this secret mission.
David lied some more and said do you have any bread for my men to eat. Ahimalek said, the only bread here is some holy bread if the men have kept themselves clean. David assured him that his men were definitely religious clean for this top secret mission. So Ahimalek gave him some bread. Then David asked if there was a sword or spear around, because he was in such a hurry to leave because of the urgency of the king’s request that he forgot to grab one. Ahimalek said, “the only sword here is the one you used to kill Goliath.” David said, “good I’ll take it.” He took the sword and the bread and he left. There was a fellow there by the name of Doeg the Edomite who saw all this take place. He was in charge of King Saul’s sheep.
Saul was king over the nation. He was a mighty warrior. But he was a man that was very proudful or a man with a very big head. He wanted to be the center of attention. He developed a tremendous hatred of David that grew out of his anger. You would have thought David had done something drastic in rebellion against the king to produce such anger. But actually David didn’t do much at all.