Summary: The 3rd sermon in the series, "Untying What’s Tying You Up," this sermon examine anger, both acceptable and sinful anger; what constitutes the sinful anger; and how to conquer it.
Untying the Knot of Anger
Series – Problems: Untying What’s Tying You Up
April 21, 2013
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available upon request by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEXT: Ephesians 4:26-27, 29-31 – “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. [Now go down to verse 29] 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Illus. – Did this ever happen to you—“Your respiration deepened and your heart began to beat rapidly. Your arterial pressure rose. Blood shifted from your stomach, intestines to the heart, central nervous system and muscles. The processes of the alimentary canal ceased. Sugar was freed from the reserves in your liver. Your spleen contracted and discharged its contents of concentrated corpuscles and adrenaline was secreted.”
You might be saying, “If it did, I don’t recall it.” Well, guess what: if you’ve ever been angry, it happened to you. I just described the physiological description of what happens when a person get angry.
Richard Cumberland of the 17th century wrote: “Of all bad things with which mankind is cursed / Their own bad tempers surely are the worst.”
Joke – I suppose the dishes industry would go broke if it weren’t for people who can’t control their anger. – I read the other day of a woman who said to her son, “Tim, could you please bring me some dishes? There’s something I need to talk to your dad about.”
I’m not sure she understood the concept of “anger management!”
Joke – I like the anger management strategy of a young man with a crying baby in a baby stroller. He kept saying quietly, “Calm down George, don’t scream, George, quiet, George!”
An elderly woman passing by stopped and said to him, “I see you’re really patient with your son George.”
The man answers, “I’m George.”
That’s a good anger management strategy…or maybe your anger management program looks something like this: [Show video found at http://www.squidoo.com/anger-humor-anger-jokes].
Joking aside, let me share some interesting statistics with you…
• Did you know that family members who were angry commit 60% of all homicides?
• Dr. Redford Williams, director of Duke University’s Behavioral Medicine Research Center said, “The hostility and anger associated with Type A behavior is the major contributor to heart disease in America.” If you have a problem with anger you’re five times more likely to have a heart attack than the average person.
• It’s also been found in a study that men who score high for hostility on standard tests are four times more likely to die prematurely than men whose scores were low.
Indeed, Clarence Macartney was right when he said, “Anger is one of the most common sins, yet one of the most dangerous and injurious to the peace and well-being of man.”
We’re in a sermon series titled, “Untying What’s Tying You Up.” A lot of people are tied up by wrong expressions of anger. Let’s see what the Bible says about anger, and how we can get untied from it:
I. CONSIDER WITH ME FIRST THAT ANGER ITSELF IS NOT A SIN!
That may surprise you, but look again at verse 26 – “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Paul doesn’t say, “Don’t be angry” but rather, “When you’re angry, don’t sin, and especially do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” Anger is a normal human emotion, and though all emotions must be controlled and channeled properly, in itself, anger is not wrong.
In fact, there is an anger that is sanctioned by God and is even exhibited by God.
• At least 18 times in the Old Testament we read of God being angry, but we know that God is without sin of any kind. In several of Jesus’s parables, God is pictured as angry. Divine anger was always directed against sin or those who committed sin.
• On several occasions Jesus Himself was angry, yet He never sinned. – He famously became angry with the temple wheelers and dealers because they turned the house of God into a den of thieves.
Likewise, when we—God’s followers—hear of evil deeds, we often become angry about it, and that’s not only not wrong, but RIGHT.