Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, October fifth. Unresolved anger has a destructive force that affects everything you do. Open your eyes to its consequences as a key motivation in letting go of anger. Words and actions on our part without any regard for the consequences is an indication of something. First of all, it's an indication of our immaturity.
Our lack of wisdom, our lack of consideration, our lack of concern. Sometimes because of something going on inside of us. And we live in a time when people don't want to talk about, don't want to think about consequences. Just do what you want to do and take care of tomorrow. The truth is that all of our words and actions have some kind of consequence. Sometime it's good, sometime it's not so good. And yet, what we don't realize is where we are today is the result of where we were yesterday. That is, we're living with the consequences of yesterday. And where we'll be tomorrow will be the result of the consequences of what we are doing today.
What we're saying, how we're acting, how we spend our time. And so, when you think about that, you think about every aspect of our life, there are consequences. Well, one of those areas of our life that has consequences is anger. Anger seems to be sort of an insignificant thing. Somebody says, everybody gets angry.
Well, that's true. But there are consequences to anger, far more devastating than most people realize. And in this message, which is the second part of our series entitled, Letting Go of Anger, this message is all about the consequences of anger and you'll be surprised, I'm sure, of how many consequences there are and how they affect us.
And I want to encourage you to get a pencil and paper and think about jotting these down. Because if you're an angry person, you say, well, everybody gets angry. No, but just think about it for a moment. It may be that you are angry and you've been angry a long time and you just think that's nobody's business but yours and it has no effect and so on and on you go. What I want you to see is this, anger is devastating. So, what I'd like to do is, first of all, to give you a list of the consequences of anger upon yourself.
The person who is angry, what are the consequences that's going on in your life? So, I want you to turn to the fourth chapter of Ephesians and I want us to read two verses here. And I want to say a word about these two verses because the very fact that Paul said this and wrote this and the way he wrote it is an indication that there are consequences to anger. So, beginning in the twenty-sixth verse of this fourth chapter, Paul says, Be angry and sin not. Well, you say, how can you be angry and sin not?
Well, come into that. Do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not give the devil an opportunity. Now, when he says, be angry and yet do not sin. If it's righteous indignation, that's not a sin. Don't get into this anger that is a sin, animosity and resentment and hostility towards someone else. Be angry and sin not. So, what he's saying is, first of all, there's a danger in this whole issue of anger because he says, be angry and sin not.
Watch it. Then he says, when you are angry, don't let the sun set on your anger. Don't put your head on the pillar at night when there's anger in your heart.
So, let's think about what are the consequences of anger in a person's life. Well, first of all, it's very evident that there are going to be, there's going to be a broken relationship between you and God. You cannot, listen, you cannot be right with God and angry at someone else.
Remember what Jesus said? If you have anger against your brother before you come to the altar to lay your gift down, He said, go settle that. So, there's a broken relationship. A person says, well, I am right with God, but I'm telling you right now, if you don't know what so and so, no, no, no, no, no.
You can't be right with God till you settle that deal. Secondly, the second consequence is broken relationships. When two people are angry with each other, they can't have the kind of relationship that two people who are friends can have or an intimate relationship. For example, husbands and wives cannot have a good relationship with each other as long as there's anger in their heart toward one another.
Because here's what happens. A critical spirit, when you're angry toward someone, it's very natural for you to have a critical spirit because what's happening is you're justifying your anger. And then it turns into being very judgmental. Well, I'll tell you right now.
Here's what I think about so and so. And so, what happens is a little bit just begins to multiply and it takes all kinds of different avenues. And then, of course, there's the sense of unrest. When a person is angry, they are restless.
Something's going on. There is the absence of peace in a person's life when they are angry because that anger involves emotions. So, where is happiness? Where is joy?
Where is peace? As long as two people are at odds with each other and there's anger, somebody says, Well, but I work with them. When I come home, I'm happy. When I'm at work, I'm unhappy.
No, no, no, no, no. You don't just have anger here and leave it there and come over here and everything is okay. Because remember, it's on the inside. You can drive a thousand miles, you're just as angry at the last mile as you were the day you left and the hour you left. Because that's the nature of it.
It's this tentacle kind of thing that penetrates every single aspect of the body and of the soul of a person. Then, of course, there is the feeling because what happens is a person who's angry, they build a shield. And this shield is up.
Why? Because they got hurt, they don't want to get hurt again. And so, they have this shield.
So, what does that do? That isolates them to some degree because they can't have the kind of relationship because they've got this shield up, this blind, this barrier, because they don't want anybody getting over it either. And so, oftentimes, they isolate themselves to the point they can't have friends because they hold the friends off. And you've met people who've been deeply hurt and they'll say, well, I will never, I will never give myself away again like that.
And I will never do thus and so and never, never, never. It's that shield they're putting up. And that's separation. When there's separation, there's isolation.
And the feeling of being isolated, you can work around a thousand people or a hundred or ten. And if you're angry, there's something about what's going on around you. There's something there that no matter what's happening, you are, you feel it because you've set yourself up for that. And then, of course, that naturally leads to frustration and anxiety in a person's life because if you're angry, you never know what's going to happen. You feel it.
It's on the inside. It weighs on you. And you look around and who can you trust anymore? And who could really be your friend?
How do you know they mean what they're saying? And so, anger can just twist not only your emotions, but it can twist your thinking about a lot of things. And then, of course, there is this whole feeling of emptiness because when you push people away and you separate yourself, there's this empty feeling.
Why? Because God, listen, God did not build us to live with anger. Be angry and sin not, He says. And did you know that from the medical profession, from their point of view, they put high cholesterol and smoking and anger on the same level when it comes to the effect on the human body. It's destructive. And what I want you to see is this, that anger brings about disease and destruction of the human body and it just goes on and on and on. And think about it.
If a person could stop and look back and think, Oh God, it wasn't worth what I've suffered. That's the deceptiveness of it. And that's why He says, Look, settle this before you go to bed or you give the devil an opportunity to do what to destroy you. And oftentimes that is exactly what happens. Every system of the body, whether it's your nervous system, circulatory system, whatever, every system of your body is affected by anger.
You say, Well, I feel fantastic for the moment. Anger is a destroyer. And so you have to ask yourself the question, What's worth dying over? What somebody said, the way somebody treated you? You can deal with any anger if you know how, if you're willing to, if you're willing to even admit, first of all, that you are angry. So, when you think about the consequences of anger, so let me ask you a question. Are you angry with anyone? Who are you angry toward? So let me ask you this. No matter what they did or what they said, how they treated you is holding on to your bitter, resentful, hostile anger worth holding on to that when it's, listen, when its effect is upon you and they may not even know it.
What a foolish waste. Because you see this, I know, if you're angry, you're going to take it out on somebody else. Somebody else suffers as a result of our anger.
So let's talk about this whole issue of the somebody else. We know what happens to us when we're angry. What about, how does it work on other people around us? Well, especially I would say to people who are married and you think, well, a little bit of anger never hurt anybody. Yes, it does.
So, what happens? Well, when we're angry and we take it out on somebody else, it hurts them. How many women or men have wept half the night because they got hurt over something their husband or wife said or did? There's hurt, there is pain, very deep pain oftentimes. Naturally, there is a sense of separation because if you're angry toward someone else, they're going to feel separated. And the same thing is true about feeling isolated, shut out.
You can live with somebody, sleep with somebody, your husband or wife's what I'm talking about. But, if you're angry, there's no togetherness. Somebody's hurt, deeply hurt as a result of when we're angry and we express it toward them.
Naturally, there's going to be a broken relationship. I don't think parents realize that they're going to feel isolated. I don't think parents realize the devastating effect of when their dad is angry toward them. And he's the most important guy in the world and he's angry toward them. Or a daughter who feels her dad's angry toward her.
Or parents who feel that their kids are angry toward them or something they couldn't give them or couldn't do. Devastating. Sometimes our impatience, we think things ought to be done a little differently. We don't realize what's going on in somebody else's life. Pain, suffering, hurt. And for us to heap something else on them because we don't get our way.
Somebody's not on our schedule, not our time. It's devastating. Plus the fact, oftentimes when people get angry over whatever, when in the church, shot the pastor to death. The next day, a man makes up his list and goes down through his family and shoots a group of them and innocent people besides. And then the next day, in another country, this young man decides he's going on a killing spree and just kills all these people.
Walks into a classroom and kills a group of students. They're all angry about something. Uncontrollable anger. And because they wouldn't deal with it, didn't know how or whatever, they killed all the innocent people they dumped their anger on by taking their lives. It's devastating. That's why I want to ask you, are you angry?
And if you are, what are you angry about? And you may say, well, you just don't know what so-and-so did to me. Let me ask you this. Have you ever been crucified? No, don't give me that Jesus stuff. Have you ever been crucified?
No, you haven't. You may have been hurt, insulted, embarrassed. A lot of things may have gone on with you, but you know, Jesus hanging on the cross, He said to those who crucified Him, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. I have a responsibility as a believer to forgive no matter what. Anger doesn't fit who you are. Anger does not have to reside in your life. You can deal with it by acknowledging the fact that you are angry and willing to come to God with that anger. He will take it out of your life if you will allow Him. Because remember this, anger has an effect upon God.
You say, well, what is that? There are three things that I'd mention. The first one is this, that our anger grieves the heart of God. Doesn't fit who we are. It grieves His heart. So you ask yourself the question, well, how could my anger grieve the heart of God because of who He is? And secondly, it hinders His work.
When people are angry, they can't do what they should be doing. And oftentimes, an angry person, God tries to call that person, they say, no, I'm not going to do this for whatever it might be, so the work of God is hindered. And a third effect is this, that God cannot pour out His blessing upon an angry person because he'll be inconsistent with who He is. And so God is affected. We're affected.
The people we relate to, or maybe innocent people are affected. Anger is a destructive, damaging, deceptive kind of an emotion that does not fit who any of us are as followers of Jesus Christ. And so I want to encourage you, whoever you may be, whatever's going on in your life, it's not worth holding on to. It's not worth keeping in your grip, in your emotions, in your physical being, the effects of anger.
It is a destroyer. You don't have to if you're willing to deal with it. And I want to encourage you to give serious thought to what's happening to you on the inside. When God has the best plan available for your life and you can destroy it through simply holding on to anger. You got a divorce or your wife divorced you years ago and you are still holding on. Your son embarrassed you years ago or two weeks ago and you are absolutely angered to the depth of your very being. He has insulted you and embarrassed you. Why don't you give it up? Forgiveness is a powerful thing for good. Anger is a powerful thing for destruction.
It doesn't fit in your life. Now, I'm going to have to stop right there because in the next message I want to deal with how we handle that anger. And then just say, well, just ask God to forgive you and let's that, that's not it. That's part of it.
But that's not all of it. And so, I want to encourage you not to miss the next message when we talk about how to deal with anger. The truth is, it could save your life. It could save your marriage. It could save your relationship to your children.
It could save your job. One thing for certain, it'll keep you from self-destruction. And Father, how grateful we are for Your awesome Word. When You said, be angry and sin not, don't go to bed with it. Don't give the devil an opportunity. It's Your way of warning us and encouraging us to deal with whatever's there now before we self-destruct.
Thank You for Your awesome grace and Your patience. And I pray the Spirit of God will sink these truths into the heart of every single person who listens and who hears, in Jesus's name, amen. Well, let me just say, if you're not a believer this morning, you can't settle this by yourself.
There's no way. But you can if you have Christ. And so, I want to explain to you for a moment how you can receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
He's the one who's all about forgiveness, all about cleansing, and all about a new life. If you're willing to acknowledge your sinfulness, you say, including my anger, yes. Just tell Him, Lord, I've made a mess of my life. There's sin in my life. I'm angry. I don't want to be this way. I know I need to be saved. I need to be forgiven.
I need a new life. I'm asking you, God, to forgive me of my sins. Not based on my goodness or what I'm going to do, but based on the fact that You went to the cross, laid down Your life at the cross, took my sin debt in full. You paid the price of my sin.
I'm asking You to forgive me and to cleanse me and to come into my life and make me one of Your children. He answers that prayer. And when He does, the Holy Spirit comes into your life, seals you as a child of God. You say, does that settle all my issues? No, it settles your eternal life. But then He begins through the Holy Spirit to work in your life and this cleansing process goes on because some things are so deep within us, He has to begin to pull them out and show us what's there that doesn't belong there and what will destroy us. He'll change your life if you let Him do it. Thank you for listening to The Consequences of Anger. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
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