Summary: God hates it when we lose our temper. But how do we stop doing that? What does God tell us we can do to get rid of our anger?
There’s a story about an actor who was playing the part of Christ in a Passion Play.As he carried the cross up the hill a tourist began to heckle him,and make fun of him, and shouted insults at him. Finally, the actor had taken all of it he could take. He threw down his cross, walked over to the tourist… and punched him in the face.
After the play was over, the director told him, "I know he was a pest, but I can’t condone what you did. Besides, you’re playing the part of Jesus, and Jesus never retaliated. So don’t go doing that again."
The actor promised he’d control his temper and that it wouldn’t happen again. But the next day the heckler was back worse than before. He held out longer than before but finally the he exploded and punched him out again.
The director said, "That’s it. I have to fire you. We just can’t have you behaving this way while playing the part of Jesus."
The actor begged, "Please give me one more chance. I really need this job, and I can handle it if it happens again."
So the director decided to give him another chance.
The next day he was carrying his cross up the street again. And sure enough, the heckler was there again. You could tell that the actor was really trying to control himself. He was clinching his fists and grinding his teeth.
Finally, he put down the cross, walked over to the heckler and said,
"I’ll meet you after the resurrection!"
This is the last in our series about emotions that trouble Christians.
We’ve talked about FEAR, and GUILT and DEPRESSION.
Today, we’re talking about ANGER.
Our passage today says that “man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” I remember it best though from the KJV of this verse:
“the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
Anger is NOT something God wants us to be known for.
Of course, the question is: WHY?
Proverbs 15:18 declares: A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension...”
• He says things he shouldn’t say.
• He insults people he should show love to. One time it might be their spouse. Another time it might be their children or parent.
Proverbs 14:17 says: “A quick-tempered man does foolish things...”
What kind of foolish things does a quick tempered man do?
• He curses.
• He breaks things.
• He hurts himself or
• He hurts others.
Ephesians 4:31 tells us – as Christians we need to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
We’re Christians… we’re not supposed to act like that.
Now, the Scriptures’ are not talking here about getting a little upset.
And they’re not talking about us getting annoyed with people.
The Bible is talking about an anger where you’ve LOST CONTROL.
Have you ever lost control of your temper?
ILLUS: Mark Twain once said:“It takes me a long time to lose my temper, but once lost I couldn’t find it with a dog.”
ILLUS: Years ago I came to church with my wrist all bandaged up.
How many of you remember that day?
Yeah, I broke my arm. Does anyone remember how I broke my arm?
That’s right; I slammed my hand against a wall.
One of my comfort foods at night is to drink a glass of chocolate milk. I’ll pour a glass of milk, and then I’ll get down the powder chocolate and mix it in. Well, this time I reached up for the powdered chocolate… and it slipped out of my hand and spilled all over the floor.
It got so mad I slammed my hand against the wall and broke my wrist.
That Sunday I came to church with my wrist all bandaged and eventually it came out that I’d broken it in fit of temper. A couple of well-meaning folks at church tried comforting me with this comment: “It’s alright. It just proves you’re human.
That bothered me more than breaking my wrist.
And I was so convicted about it that I got up in the pulpit to preach and noted:
“There’ve been folks who have tried to make me feel better about losing my temper and breaking my wrist by telling me ‘That just proves you’re human.’ And while I appreciate their kindness, they were wrong. It didn’t prove I was human. It proved I was a sinner. When I lost my temper I sinned. I’m not going to try to make excuses for my bad behavior… and you shouldn’t either. Let’s call it what it was: SIN.”
Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”
And that’s what happens WHEN a person loses their temper…they lose all self-control