Summary: Anger is neutral; if used correctly, it can be good ... if used incorrectly, it can lead to sin. Sometimes anger is a PROBLEM ... sometimes it is PERMITTED.
“The Danger Of Anger”
INTRODUCTION: Ephesians 4:31-32
We have already taken a look at “Bitterness” and “Unforgiveness”. This morning we want to take a look at another problem we often face in this verse … “ANGER”.
The word “anger” is used in over 256 verses in the Bible.
“Anger” is something that we can ALL identify with. At one time or another, we have ALL gotten angry at someone or something to one degree or another. Some people have an “anger management problem” and need help keeping their anger under control. I think we will learn some things this morning that will help us in times of “anger”.
Let’s take a look at our PRIMARY TEXT this morning – Ephesians 4:26
I. THE PURPOSE OF ANGER
Ephesians 4:26 tells us to “be ye angry” … YET … 4:31 tells us to “let all … anger … be put away from you.” Which is it?
To answer this question, we have to see what ANGER really is. We think of ANGER as being a BAD thing … but it’s not. What’s BAD about anger is the way we EXPRESS it, sometimes.
ANGER is NEUTRAL … there’s nothing wrong with ANGER itself. ANGER has a good and useful purpose … if it is used correctly. If it is NOT USED CORRECTLY, it can lead to sin (4:26) … when it is mixed with “malice” (4:31).
ANGER is a physical state of readiness … when we are angry, our body gets prepared to ACT … it is a God-given instinct for SURVIVAL. ANGER supplies POWER and PREPAREDNESS to our bodies.
EX.: What happens if you see a stranger fighting with your child or grandchild. Maybe they are trying to force them into their car. You get MAD … you get ANGRY!
NOW … is ANGER a good thing? You bet it is! What happens? Your heart beats faster … the adrenaline begins to flow … more sugar is released in your body … your blood pressure rises … the pupils of your eyes open wide … you become highly alert. You’re body is prepared for action … power becomes available for you to assert yourself.
The PURPOSE of ANGER is POWER and PREPAREDNESS. ANGER can be very beneficial, when used the right way. “Be ye angry!”
II. THE PROBLEM WITH ANGER
ANGER can also be very DANGEROUS. “and sin not”. When all that POWER is mishandled, and not brought under control, it can be very destructive. If anger is EXPRESSED improperly, it can have very severe consequences.
The reason why we look upon ANGER in a negative way, is because it is usually expressed in AGGRESSION and HOSTILITY. We see this illustrated many times in the Bible.
MOSES spent 40 days & 40 nights up on Mt. Sinai, where God gave him the 10 Commandments, and the Laws of God. While he was up there, the Children of Israel got tired of waiting, and Aaron made them a golden calf to worship. When Moses came down and saw it, he was ANGRY! Exodus 32:19-20
Moses lost it! He didn’t control his anger, but he let it control him. He lost it again when God told him to SPEAK to the rock and water would come from it to quench their thirst. The people complained against Moses for leading them into the desert to die of thirst. Moses got MAD and STRUCK the rock with his rod … TWICE. Because of the angry disobedience of Moses, he wasn’t allowed to enter into the Promised Land.
You see, there can be a DANGER with ANGER … if we let it CONTROL us … and we lose CONTROL over it. “Danger” and “anger” are very close … only a “d” difference between them. When we let the “d” (DEVIL) get in front of our “anger”, it spells “danger”.
See Ephesians 4:27
III. THE PERMISSION OF ANGER
Sometimes ANGER is PERMISSIBLE … it is PERMITTED. “Be ye angry, AND SIN NOT.” Jesus got ANGRY … but He never sinned when He did.
Mark 3:1-5 – all turn
We don’t normally think of Jesus as being “angry”. BUT …we have to remember, that ANGER isn’t wrong … it’s the way we EXPRESS our ANGER that can make it a sin. The Pharisees were ANGRY that Jesus didn’t observe the Sabbath days like they wanted Him to (2:23-24)
When Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath day, they were so ANGRY that they sought to kill Him. Luke 6:11 – “But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.” We can easily accept the fact that the Pharisees were ANGRY at Jesus … but it’s hard to accept the fact that Jesus was ANGRY at them. We tend to think of Jesus as kind, compassionate & loving … and never ANGRY.