Summary: Parts of this sermon came from others. The idea is to understand the depth of sin in order to appreciate GRACE.
Understanding the SIN of ANGER
Last week we discussed the sin of dissension. Like we discovered last week, it is not just the doing but even the thought of sin is just as guilty. In this passage, I want you to notice, that in this passage the Lord covers the involvement of sin by our whole person. A proud look (Mind); A lying TONGUE; HANDS that shed innocent blood; a HEART that plans evil deeds; and FEET that run to trouble. Today I want to deal with the Mind, and one of the sins of the mind is ANGER.
In this passage Jesus deals with ANGER, it is not that anger in and of itself is a sin. It is what we do when we are angry that leads us to sin.
Projection: That’s the thing we do when we anticipate what someone is going to do or say and we rehearse our response.
1. The boss wants to see us
a. Yeah I’ll bet it is about that mistake I made the other day, he’s gonna jump all over me, well….
b. I’ll bet he is gonna give some lame excuse as to why I can’t have a raise or promotion, well….
c. He probably is going to lay me off, claim downsizing, I have been here for x amount of years, and I am more productive than several others, why not lay them off, I am going to….
2. The Wife has called, you got to call her back
a. What did the kids do?
b. She is going to nag me about….
One episode of MASH, Colonel Potter notices a letter from his wife addressed to Hawkeye. He wants to know why she wrote him. He starts projecting/assuming different things. He calls the bank to find out she withdrew a large sum of money. Now he goes off, he assumes she bought a houseboat. He gets explosive, he can’t get through to her at home, and Hawkeye won’t tell what was in the letter. The crew decides to through him a mortgage burning party, Colonel Potter’s wife, Mildred, paid off the mortgage early. That’s what the letter was all about. See how projection in anger can get us in deep trouble.
What have we done when we project?
1. Beat someone up?
2. Tell someone off?
3. Divorce your spouse?
4. Put down your kids?
5. Call someone every name in the book?
6. Used vulgar language?
Amazing what happens in the recesses of our minds.
In this passage, Jesus warns us that if we say/think these things we are in danger of HELL.
MT 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
This verse is the first of six antithesis statements that begin with “You have heard it said….but I tell you…” Jesus is pointing out that merely not doing is not enough. It is not thinking such things. The Apostle Paul tells us
PHP 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
What we fill our minds with will eventually come out. It does not say do not get angry, is simply says, “in your anger do not sin.” However, anger left unattended can turn to hate. This is a dangerous, deadly emotion when directed toward the people who have hurt you is destructive. It is destructive to those to whom it is directed but, more importantly, it is destructive to yourself as well.
It can become a cancer that slowly destroys your body and your soul.
Hate can give instant energy and empower you to run when attacked, but ultimately, hate will turn its power against the hater.
It will sap the energy of the soul, leaving it weaker than before, too weak in fact to create a better life beyond the pain.
Anger that is not dealt with will consume your time and energy as you fume and mull over your painful experiences. Remember what was said earlier about projection?
Holding onto your anger makes it impossible to forgive people who hurt you, even when they have changed and want to reconcile. Therefore, deal with your anger, but do it in a righteous way.
Alfred Lord Tennyson invited a Russian nobleman to his estate. Early one morning this nobleman took off with dogs & guns & servants to go hunting.