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September 16, 2019 11:56 am
Frederick Buettner writes anger is fun to lick your wounds to smack your lips over grievances long past to roll over your tongue. The prospect of bitter confrontation still to come, to savor to the last tooth some more. So both the pain you are given and the pain you're giving back. In many ways it's a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you're wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton of the feast is you the burning fuse of anger. We live in an angry world, only anger and rage boiling point.
We see this in family disputes, we see that at work. We certainly see it in the political field. We think of the arguments in the done right bad temper on social media. We think of road rage a couple months ago. As I drove here to cover church one Sunday a driver cut me off and then made a gesture which did not spell hallelujah I thought. Who is it someone can be so angry over was his own fault. Obviously my my driving is impeccable but even even if I was wrong. How could that bring out such uncontrolled rage in this young man. The fact is a real or imagined slight often causes anger willing of angry young men who were so angry that they take a gun into a school into a theater in Tomball on randomly shoot innocent people including children. We think of men, possibly some sitting here man who repeatedly abuse assaults their wives and the children. Yes, even in professing Christian homes that anger sometimes is physical often manifests itself with vicious words with cursing with swearing with blasphemy. The fact is that anger is a major issue with the many men I'm sure if we took a poll here of all of the wives and the woman many of you would say that you live with an angry man that your father is angrier.
You grew up in a home where there was from time to time, uncontrollable anger and rage that anger and manner we see in all kinds of ways. Sometimes when they're playing sports I understand competition. Sometimes when their coaching. Even little children. I remember when our son was about four years old and I to come to the why and that they were playing soccer.
No one knew about the game, including the cultures, but I just stood there and hear what all of the little four-year-old chasing the ball, you know, the same none of them had a clue what they were doing and the point was to have fun and there was a father standing next to me and it was looking and he pointed out his daughter to me and he was furious that she was so awkward, so ill coordinated and I said to him your your brothers only four years old, but the anger in this man that his child was so prophetic, trying to kick a ball and I thought poor wife that lives with this man. Emotion is a very very powerful. Anger is a very very powerful emotion visited and is devastating in homes and relationships at work, yes, and even in the church that burning fuse of anger sometimes explodes and then boom. This rage shouting this cursing there man who punch the walls of their homes and punch their wives of the children. At other times, the anger is suppressed is hidden or at least partially hidden coming out and bitterness, sarcasm, insults also excel in this self-pity are passive aggressive behavior very interesting that anger appears in the Bible very early on, you know your Bible in the fourth chapter of Genesis, God asks a man Canaan. Why are you angry is going to end up killing his own brother. That's anger. That's rage that is hatred against another human being any danger signs in your life but just man was angry woman getting irritable snapping at others shouting scuttling slamming doors, ignoring people getting very very defensive when anyone ever criticizes you focus too much of the faults of others rather than your own lying away at night modeling over in your mind somewhat real or imagined. These are signs of the burning fuse of anger I'm saying to you this morning. Do not ignore the danger signs check your anger quickly or it will get out of control in the series with wings early illegals were thinking up some challenges and struggles in life, and this challenge of anger is a very real one, and that we want to stand and lean toward God's word has to say on the subject.
Will you stand and read with me Ephesians 4 a versus 26 through 32.
Let's read it the angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steel, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands so that you may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and drive and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you that you may be seated is not wonderful last verse. Many of you know, it's Ephesians 432 be kind to one another as I meet with couples who are about to get married.
I often say to them the kind to one another trying this is a wonderful virtue is I will get a kind person, kind to your family. Kind to everyone, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you that edge of your Bible to turn to the passage that we just read Ephesians chapter 4 I bought a new Bible a couple of months ago and I'm really loving this new Bible Ephesians 4 verse 26 we want to see. First of all known sin in your anger. Don't sin in your anger is what Paul says here Ephesians 426 be angry and do not sin.
As I say, anger is a very common human emotion.
All of us know what it is to be angry. We've all experienced it. In this verse, verse 26 is best seen not as a command to be angry but rather as an injunction not to say when you are angry. The NIV translates it in your anger do not sin. Yes, there are things that are situations which do make us angry and we must understand that anger in the hand of itself is not necessarily sinful. There is such a thing as righteous indignation outlawed the perfect man God incarnate, was angry when he cleansed the temple in the Gospels member.
He threw out the money changers and his righteous and didn't indignation what was against those who broke the law of God, and you exploited others in the name of their faith in God righteous indignation, you leave the sanctuary this morning and going to the parking lot towards her car and if you saw a man with a big stake beating a two-year-old little girl you would be angry. At least I hope it would if you were not angry to be something seriously wrong with you in fact is sometimes out anger is justifiable, so we must differentiate between sinful anger and righteous indignation.
But here's the point, because anger is such a strong emotion. It can very easily and very quickly get out of hand, so be very careful when you're angry. Don't allow your anger to control your that's what happens is that when the anger becomes rage becomes uncontrollable and we've allowed the anger to control us.
What does James say James one verse 19. Notice my beloved brother, let every person be quick to hear, slow this week to ears one month quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger and angry too quickly for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
The fact is, when you're angry. That is a very real possibility that in your anger.
You're going to send it may be verbally and maybe physically so the command is not to sin when you're angry. Some psychologists encourage people, angry people to vent their rage. I think we need to be careful about that because that kind of anger may just breed more anger falls when he describes the works of the flesh in Galatians chapter 5 is a contrast them with the fruit of the Spirit's one of the things he says that the flash does, it produces fits of anger. Note this is not to say that we ignore this emotion that we ignored or angered, or better yet, if we do that it can act like a toxic, profoundly impacting us inwardly and denied all surprise that fuse of anger may continue to burn and become explosive know what the Scriptures say and you know this is true when you're provoked to anger when you experience that emotion be very very careful. This is a time when you should commit the whole situation to the Lord. When you lean on the spirit of God spirit of God produces not outbursts of rage and violence and mean words but peace and harmony.
Proverbs 15 verse one. A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. Be careful of the harsh word of the summer I read the book called the second Moncton by David Brooks writes in the New York Times. Interesting book because he brought up Jewish very much influenced by the Christian faith in the trees and some of these on a personal struggles and spiritual journey and write some very interesting things. I don't necessarily agree with all of his perspective, but is not interesting and that David Brooks tells the story of Abraham Lincoln and I'm sure many of you know more about Abraham Lincoln than I do. But this is what David Brooks says is is is a young man. Lincoln had a ferocious hunger for fame and power but preserving the union was a summons so great that considerations of self no longer mattered. On November 18, 1861 he paid a call to Gen. George McClellan, hoping to press him to take the fight to the Confederacy more aggressively when Lincoln arrived, McClellan was not at home. So Lincoln told the butler that he Secretary of State William Siewert and innate interesting name John hey John him and will be just John hey the eighth two Lincoln was called John hey that they would wait in the parlor when McClellan arrived home an hour later he walked past the room for the president was waiting, and Lincoln waited another 15 minutes. The butler returned to say that McClellan had decided to retire for the night's and we see Lincoln some other time.
McClellan was picked was playing poker games with Lincoln, John hey was inset incensed I would be with you who has the gall to treat the president of the United States with such disrespect. Lincoln, however, I find this quite amazing. Lincoln Hobart was unruffled better this time.
He told CNN. Hey not to be making points of etiquette and personal dignity. This wasn't about him. His pride was not at stake he would be willing to wait forever if you could find a general who would fight for the union. The cause was the center of Lincoln's life.
At this point in a situation where most of us would have been very angry. Lincoln kept his eyes on the goal is not an interesting story treating the President of the United States with disrespect, but Lincoln obviously was a man who was in control of his emotion. Unlike his age and others around them is a sign of greatness is in the examine your experiences of anger over the last month examine the times over the last month or months when you feel you've not been treated well, perhaps by a family member, perhaps by a colleague at work asked by someone et al. reject someone in your life and you felt that they have not treated you the way that you desire. How have you reacted you send in your anger. Have you allowed your emotions to take over Proverbs 14 verse 29 whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. If you got a hasty temper you are a foolish person according to Proverbs Proverbs 15 verse 18, all hot tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger clients contention.
You know people like that don't you people who are slow to anger whenever analysis fussy been able to bring a calm and the perspective and I read from James 119 through 20. Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Now here's the second one again in verse 26 resolve your anger quickly. Verse 26 be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, your angry resolve the situation quickly before you go to bed. Don't stay angry when you're angry. Don't sit on it. Don't let time go by to see when we don't resolve our anger. What happens bitterness and resentment quickly spring up breathing on your anger, breathing on that slight that heart that insults that disrespect whatever it is that makes you angry breathing on that going over in your mind with the heart over and over again just builds up more anger, doesn't it allowed to fester. Anger and unresolved conflict produces havoc in our lives in their homes in the relationships in the spirit of God's sake don't do that. Don't let the sun go down on your rough which is a nice way of saying before the sun sets.
I get the matter resolved. You get the points on the lie with the Fenster bond.
I don't love yourself to brood and brood on this heart with a real or imagined, and can I say to all of us, myself included in our humanity and our selfishness and self-centeredness, self-centeredness, all of us are capable of making big issues out of minor issues, making mountains I don't molehills our songs in a teacup underway because sometimes when what really ticked off and we talk to someone else about that. They look at this is was a big deal. You get so worked up over this matter. Usually, the fact is you are not a perfect person and those around you are not perfect. Do you expect everyone always to treat you the way that you feel you should be treated. That's nonsense you living in cloud cuckoo lines a man if you think everyone is always going to act toward you and do as you think you're in for tremendous disillusionment is not interesting that when Paul writes about love in first Corinthians 13 verse two things he says about love is this, love is kind kind is Ephesians 432. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, becoming love is kind, and then love is patient patient, be patient with others and don't be so sensitive. Another those people who say well I'm a very sensitive individual. Let me tell you all of us are very sensitive individuals and when someone says well you know I'm offended and you need to know I'm very sensitive. I was feeling sick this is an evidence of your pride. This is an evidence of your immaturity. This is an evidence that you want us to treat you differently from everyone else. Why don't you just grow up and stop focusing on your sensitivities. All all the insensitive people are clapping right sensitive.
One thing when those a little tough today. Okay, I don't claim to be the most sensitive person, other than being a very very sensitive husband as my wife would say what my point is being court sensitive is no excuse for your anger and your bad temper.
Proverbs 19 verse 11.
The man's discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression. There's an example of Pres. Lincoln. I don't know enough about the man to know whether he was sensitive or insensitive, but I do know that in that situation. David Brooks writes about laws that he showed great discretion and he was able to overlook a transgression and an insult because of the goal that he had in mind overlook that slight Peter first Peter four verse eight says love covers a multitude of sins, and then your home and your relationship with your parents, your brothers or sisters, your husband or wife, your grandmother or whoever it is, your friends at work and so on. You will from time to time be offended. Most of the time the person who offends you or who you feel is insulted you doesn't realize that they have even done that's but when you love someone, you, you overlook these things. The Bible is full love showing for parents showing patients, showing understanding is called maturity not being like a little three or four-year-old who's going to throw a tantrum when he or she doesn't get what he or she wants move on. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Every single one of us here is offended by others. Every single one of us here sometimes offends others. Number one, don't sit in your anger number two resolve your anger quickly.
Number three. Don't give the devil an opportunity. I find this intriguing. Notice what Paul says in the very next verse, verse 27 he says be angry and don't send, don't let the sun go down the gutter anger and give no opportunity to the devil. The devil loves angry people look back at beginning of Ephesians chapter 4 for the work of the spirit. Ephesians 4 verse one identified a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. No unit is with all humility and gentleness with patients bearing with one another in love with me wonderful in their homes and relationships in the church we follow this advice, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace.
That's with the work of the Holy Spirit does for those of us who are following Jesus Christ as would become more and more like him. We follow the instructions with the power of the spirit that we walk with humility and gentleness and patience and forbearing one another.
What about the devil he produces this unity. He loves strife. He loves conflict. He loves accusations. He's a great slanderer Jesus said is the father of lies is the chooser of the brothers is the deceiver and when we leave ourselves with unresolved anger. We are vulnerable to the devil when what angry is not the case that we often do the devils work when we say in our anger, what does that produce strife, hurt, give children who come from homes where there is credible anger for the father of the mother or perhaps both were angry and shouted at each other sometimes fall in front of them.
Some of you come from homes like Patagonia one impact it has on someone that's the devils work isn't when we sin in our anger. This is what it produces going to excuse your anger. Don't just say well that's just how I am a fairly hot tempered person is will see the minute that is not acceptable. Think of the problems and homes in the workplace and relationships in the local church when anger is not handled in the biblical way.
Anger destroys the unity of the spirit, and it grieves the Holy Spirit, verse 30 do not grieve the Holy Spirit do not say, Jon, I can't help it. Yes you can. Your aerobic you're not a machine you anger can be controlled under the power of the Holy Spirit and as a follower of Jesus, this I know that you can soar high with wings like eagles all over that destructive anger sometimes people even choose to be angry or pretend to be angry, pretend to be passionate in order to intimidate people or manipulate people.
Isn't it true that we rarely express our anger to someone, we respect or someone maybe would a little bit afraid of. It was a man at work. He has an impossible boss at the boss insults the man the boss belittles him humiliate someone in the management very very angry at work, but rather than have a difficult conversation with his boss, he goes home and is very angry and he so angry he kicks the cats and show said his wife and perhaps beats his child wrong.
Don't give the devil an opportunity to rank your life to wreck your relationships to wreck your home because of your anger. When we don't resolve our anger.
I'm talking particularly in the church with the principal apply regularly in the home, but the principle applies more than the home when you allow that anger to continue in your home is like opening the front door and inviting the devil in the Diablo's the accuser, the devil's likes and coming devil commit and sits at the supper table come in and sit in the family area.
Do not give an opportunity to the devil.
Number one, don't send in your anger number two resolve your anger quickly. Number three.
Don't give the devil an opportunity. Number four. Put away your anger and doing the vengeful verse 31 and 32. Again, let all bitterness, my mother bit of people and 30 you say John that you knew how I was mistreated you think of that as well.
Possibly I would. But here's the word of God to you and to me. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice becoming the contrast and when you're not like cutting people will love it when people are coming to us them. Don't we something very winsome about that act of kindness, particularly this unexpected be kind to one another. Parents, be kind to your children. Children shouldn't be kind to your parents I'll be kind to your brother and sister I know is a pain in the night but be kind to him, be kind to one another, tenderhearted for giving one another as God in Christ forgave you. Notice verse 31 anger is to be put away from you earlier in the passage Paul instructs us to put off verse 22 to put off the old self, or the old man. The some translations. I printed off and put on verse 24 then you self using our you're a follower of Jesus Christ and that your old life before you knew Christ and before you began to follow Christ. You are angry and you were bitter and you have that dictate Dr. Tom, but no, here is the transformation of the grace of God.
Things are different. You put away these things.
These are destructive, they will destroy you will destroy your relationships and they will rob you of the joy that following Jesus produces put it away. Get rid of it is like some dirty old jacket, giving hanging on that :-) and that's all that's full of old put it away and put on Jesus Christ instead of anger put on kindness and set of malicious slandering people put on patients to that person who is offended you, forgive them, just as God in Christ forgave you that is verse 29. This is so practical in terms of our anger, let no corrupting talk come out of your mind's about it again, particularly men, corrupting talk cursing and swearing, blasphemy, vulgarity going on. That's really bad when her son was a little boy.
One of the boys from the neighborhood would come to our house and play and by this little boy of about six or seven is a very very dirty Tom we to tell the little boy we don't talk like that in this house with the tragedy.
Was he just heard it from the home.
He was raised and he had no doubt his mom and dad talk like this and little boy didn't know how wrong it was to use such corrupting language. It's rotten, put on edifying and gracious speech.
Verse 29, but only such as good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it meant that it may give grace to those who hear.
Be gracious in your speech.
That was a characteristic of of the Lord Jesus, wasn't it, they marveled at the gracious words which receded either his lips. I know many many people who when they speak they communicate grace just by the very way they express themselves and and you feel when you mean with them that you've been uplifted. You've been helped.
Lincoln must've been someone like that. Imagine being his agent witnessing when perhaps other presidents another people would have sworn or are said angry despicable language grace to those who hear using sinful anger. It is an emotion, but is more than an emotion. It includes the exercise of the will, with a large strength in the power of the spirit put it away usage on how do I do that. Number five come to the cross of Christ. Your anger is dealt with at the cross of Christ. Do you realize that we see the anger of God at the cross you say is God angry yes Bible says that God is angry with the wicked every day when we started Romans right in the beginning, opposing them is an exposition of the gospel in Romans Romans one verse 18 Paul writes that the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men does God think about sin wrath of God against it. Ephesians 5 verse six is done in your Bible Ephesians 5 verse six let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things these things in verse verses three through five.
You can look at them over, including filthiness, foolish talk crew joking all to do with her mouth open and anger for because of these things verse six the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Resume our listeners no hope for me because I've ever really blown it.
I bring my mind. My language is terrible and I've committed many many sins.
I'm glad to hear you say that because they show some humility that show some acknowledgment of your wrongdoing.
Do you realize that the cross of Christ our sinless Christ our sinless Savior experience the ride wrath of God, not for his own sins, but for your sins, including the sins of anger in the past God judged the world. Think of the time of the flood. When people were so evil and God provided the narco and those who were in the yard for safe so now the judgment of God is coming.
You survived on the experience of no God's judgment is coming on all said with a wonderful good news of the gospel is that if you come to the cross of Christ, those sins whatever the art including your sin of anger of wrath of rage, of violence, abuse, whatever it is whatever varmint dates all of that can be forgiven because our sinless Christ that were singing about this, died on the cross for our sins, he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I was impossible that he can take away the sin of the world. While he is the sinless sacrifice and the judgment of God and the wrath of God which we desire fell on him. He bore our sins in his body on the tree. The apostle Peter writes not only dying for our sins, and being buried by the rising again from the dead, and he calls on all of us to turn from our sin to acknowledge our sin to repent of our sin and to cry out to him for salvation. Why do we have this magnificent cross on the ceiling just because it looks good though it is a constant reminder that there is under the cross at the foot of the cross that is salvation. There is forgiveness there is transformation for each one of us as we come humbly to the cross of Christ. Repent of our sin prior to Christ and he will save us and all of these sins, including my good friend. Those sins of anger was sins of violence was sins which are just despicable.
The worst of sins. Sins of murder because Jesus as the one who is angry. It's as if you are murdering your brother all of the sins can be forgiven at the foot of the cross of you been there a few been to the cross, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. Forgiveness is one of the sweetest words of the gospel is forgiven.
You can walk out here totally forgiven. You may have been carrying anger and bitterness. For many, many, the way followed of Christ. I realize some of you have been abused and exploited children. Some of you have had a husband or wife is been unfaithful to you and walked out.
Some of you have had a very close friend who's betrayed you have been defrauded of a lot of money. Some of you have struggled for years with debilitating health situations. Some of you have been like dying very very badly by people in your really ticked off and there's these burdening fuses of anger about to explode.
Some of you have nurse these four years. Bitterness, resentment and anger using John that I had been treated absolutely abominably that is true for many of you. I'm not denying the hurt and pain. The violence, the manipulation, the intimidation that has been inflicted on you but do you think that because you've been so wounded and so hurt that you have the right to continue to be angry you're holding onto this burden of anger and unforgiveness is the time. Surely there is to leave that anger done that in the cross if you don't put it away as the spirit of God is telling us if you don't put away that anger, bitterness, resentment will grow and grow and can completely dominate you nonsense people that paralyze over the bitterness in their anger and yes we sympathize with the wrong that was inflicted on them but in the wonderful transformation of the gospel rather than your life being destroyed and your relationships being destroyed and rather than being robbed of the joy of life and to continue in that downward spiral because it is a downward spiral. Why don't you and God's name today, and put it all away the foods of the cross to Lindon at the cross is a that's difficult. I know it's difficult but God will help you when life doesn't go the way we think we get angry understand that, but part of it is that you have an expectation of life and expectation of life that there will be no hearts that you think you're in control of your life and weeping understanding in this study that God is in control, that God is sovereign, that he is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the and that Anglo viewers that anger which is destroying you. You don't want to go on living like that. I want you to behold, your God want you to put away that anger.
I want you to repent this morning at the foot of the cross.
Some of you may not yet be saved, and I ask you to come to Christ this morning. Those of you who are saved will you do as the spirit of God is in joining you to do is to put that anger away to accept the challenge of total commitment to Jesus Christ.
Surrender these hurts that bitterness that anger which has paralyze you for far too long to put it away to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, just as God in Christ forgave you. This is the transformation of grace.
Lindon done at the cross as I don't have the strength to do it. You say the pain is too deep. The injury is so severe bulge of God Boulder Christ of you not known. I do not hurt. The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the he does not faint or grow weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength, even huge self fate on young men shall fall exhausted but they who waits for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall among top with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. We buy with me witnessing by the mighty Savior will you bow into business with the spirit of God was the spirit of God saying to you today. Don't harden your heart not excuse or sinfulness, you don't know Christ believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Do it do know he will save you he'll forgive your he'll transform your brother, sister think these hurts. The pain that injury to insult the terrible abuse his people and manipulated you and taken advantage of you and your and assigns rightly angry but lay it down put it away from you.
The experience the joy of the forgiveness of your sins and keep your eyes on Jesus, and behold, your God made you among top with wings this morning, like eagles, but you will walk and not faint that you will run and not be weary of father in their God. This is a message for each one of us and you know our hearts draws to the Savior convict us of our sin may souls be saved this morning may lives of bitterness and anger be ended in May our relationships be transformed here at Calvary in their homes and workplaces in their community that we will be kind to one another that we will be tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as you in Christ has forgiven us in his name