ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part IX

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Cor. 13:5 & 6 “[Love] … is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.”

Intro: Today, I believe is the last of this series on Anger Management. It has been a long journey that has taken us from the first of the year until now. I am indebted to Dr. Les Carter, Dr. Frank Minereth, and Dr. Vaughn, whose writings inspired me to this task. I also received information from the Internet and other materials that I have in my study. I must also express appreciation to all of you, who have been great listeners and I believe doers of the Word as well. There have been many in this community, who have heard that I was ministering concerning Anger Management, who have encouraged me to continue this series. I trust now that we will be posting it on our web site for others to have an opportunity to be blessed as well. This is not a topic that I would have readily moved toward, but I felt the Lord’s breathe before Thanksgiving, 2007, that gave me the wind to work on such a topic.

You remember that the first week, (1) we noted some of the physical and psychological problems that have been the result of inappropriate anger. In week two, (2) we examined the fight-or-flight responses and saw both were damaging to God’s special creation. The third week, (3) we saw that God got angry in the Old Testament, and we used four (4) examples to show how His responses were always from a heart of love. The forth week, (4) we moved to the New Testament, noting three (3) examples of Jesus’ response to His anger and one example of the Holy Spirit responded to His pain. In week five, (5) we mentioned three (3) areas where we as Christians need to get angry and how we should respond to the injustices in our world. The sixth week, (6) we looked at seven (7) management tips to help us get our anger under proper control. In week seven, (7) we noted that a good subtitle could have been Taming Our Temper, and we listed seven (7) management tips to help get our anger under proper control. Last week, (8) we examined four (4) appropriate ways to respond to our anger, and today we will examine the other four (4).

Remember that Henry Drummond wrote in his book, “he Greatest Thing In The World,” No form of vice, nor worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to uncharistianize society than evil tempers. For embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom of childhood, for sheer gratuitous misery-producing power, this influence stands alone!”

Remembering The First Four (4) Appropriate Ways To Respond To Anger:

I. Anger Is One Emotion God Gave Us And Is Not In Itself Sin!

II. Admit All Angry, Expressions, Good Or Bad, Result From Choices!

III. Decide What Is Important To Be Angry About, And What Should Not Matter!

IV. Live In Humility And Listen To Others!

V. Ask Forgiveness From Those Offended By Your Angry Out-bursts!

We must choose to relinquish our craving for control. I know that is part of God’s image, but it is one part that we have to give back to our Creator! Often we use anger to get our way – which never solves any problems. We must understand that we truly have an excessive dependence for approval from the one who we exploded on – Let It Go! When we ask forgiveness, that becomes the deterrent to future angry outbursts. I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

VI. Forgive Those We Feel Caused Our Anger!

Ephesians 4:31&32Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you“.

Did you notice that the words bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice all give you a bad feeling by just mentioning them! Now notice how you feel as you say kind, compassionate, and forgiving. See how much better you feel with these thoughts running through your mind! When we concentrate on the later rather than the former list, we will find much more joy in our lives!

VII. Learn Why You Are Angry!

Alcohol and other drugs affect inhibitions in the brain, which often causes angry out-bursts, violence, and often even murder. Drinking is the number one predicator of physical and sexual abuse! By keeping our life-style habits consistent with our desired emotional control will help us live as we wished instead of living with regrets! Teach others to control their emotions by watching your life-style, i.e. be an example!

Grief can also produce anger – in fact, it is a necessary stage in the grieving process. Grief is not only produced when we have a death in our families, but any loss – from losing our youth to losing a job – can produce grief, which must be treated just as we would grief from death. We can control this anger like all others!

VIII. Ground Yourself In Truth!

Be careful that you do not watch too many movies to see if you can act like John Wayne or Bruce Willis. Jesus taught Thy Word is truth. Cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22&23. When we are filled with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control, there will be little room for inappropriate use of anger.

Conclusion: Remember, we are accountable for our actions! We must be accountable with our anger! It is okay for a Child of the King to ask for help dealing with their anger! The Lord will send us help to keep us from sinning! When we decide to no longer be ruled by our anger, we will be filled with peace and laughter.

~Pastor Erny

ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part VIII

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Cor. 13:5 & 6 “[Love] … is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.”

Intro: Today’s and next Sunday’s messages are what I began with in this study of Anger Management. I was reading from Dr. Les Carter and Dr. Frank Minereth, who are well known Psychologists and Dr. Vaughn, who is a professor of Psychology at Bethany College in California. They were writing about ways to help one control their inappropriate responses to anger. From this information, I have been motivated to gather additional information from the Internet and from things I have found in reference materials I have in my study. Do not think that I have exhausted this subject! I have not attempted to! I have only wanted to open our eyes to see that God has not made us to be angry people, nor did He create us as passive people. He made as strong individuals, who should allow Love to be our motivator! To do that we need to remember that the Bible tells us to “Be angry, but sin not”!

It is said by some that angry people are mad – and maybe that is right! We have seen that inappropriate anger will cause people to act insanely! It can also lead to bipolarism and clinical depression. We know for certain that anger will consume our happiness, steal our joy, affect our hearth, damage our relationships, and often leads to murder.

Today, let’s look at four (4) ways to appropriately respond to anger.

I. Remember, Anger Is One Emotion God Gave Us And Is Not Sin In Itself!

There are many ways anger can find expression from withdrawal to outbursts and with many points in between! We have looked at the fight-or-flight response and have realized both are out of bounds! All of us have anger, but most of us, most of the time, do not lose control. When we continue getting upset about the same thing, we need to learn to talk about it before it gets worse. Counseling will usually help at least one of a couple who are experiencing anger. Ephesians.4:26&27 “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold”.

II. Admit All Angry Expressions, Good or Bad, Result From Our Choices!

Only you decide how you will react or act toward situations that bring out the anger inside! Avoid the temptation to rationalize your anger – realize actions are controlled by the will – you can control anger’s behavior! Just because you are Irish, hot-blooded, redheaded, or anything else you would like to blame for your explosion, you are not excused for being out-of-control. Proverbs 16:32He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that takes a city.” Ecclesiastes 7:9Anger rests in the heart of fools“. We can stop and pray for help! We can write a letter – as long as destroy it before mailing it! We can vent our anger by cleaning the bathroom or washing the car. We do not have to explode! If we do explode, it is because we choose to!

III. Decide What Is Important To Be Angry About!

Why expend unnecessary energy over spilt-milk? Why elevate your blood pressure over scratched furniture? Why lose your Christian testimony over a dented car fender? Will you get your money back just because you get mad?

Get upset about a rebellious child! Be angry about disobedience and lying! Do not stand by while someone is breaking God’s commandments! Use anger constructively to right wrongs. Anger toward the work of the devil should take us to our knees to intercede for families, friends, neighbors, and this nation! Anger should cause us to volunteer to teach Sunday School or Super Church to help teach our children the right pathways! Anger should motivate us to visit the sick and lonely, to love the broken, to feed the hungry. Anger should push us to vote and to speak out against immorality in its many forms! James 1:19&20Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.”

IV. Live In Humility By Listening To Others!

Much of our anger is caused by excessive pride – “having to always be right!” “knowing better than everyone else!” Learn to relate to others as equals. Never try to defend right – truth needs no defense! And, if you are truly as smart as you believe, allow others to have their “wrong” opinions! We will never win the world to Jesus by always showing our intellectual superiority – we must show our empathy with their life situations. We need to help those who have not helped themselves in the past, hoping that our help will show them there is a better way!

Conclusion: Use the Anger God Has Given You Properly! Remember, it is one of God’s gifts, so we need to use it wisely. It is always our choice whether we act or react to situations that come our way. With God’s help, we will always decide what is important for us to be angry about and what should be passed off as trivial! When we decide we are not going to be ruled by anger, we can be filled with God’s peace!

~Pastor Erny

ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part VII

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Cor. 13:5 & 6 “[Love] … is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.”

Intro: A good subtitle of today’s message could be Taming Our Temper. If our outbursts, rages, or bulling are negatively affecting relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and even complete strangers, it is time to change the way we express our anger. We can take steps, with the Lord’s help, to improve our anger management.

In week one of this series, we listed some of the physical and psychological problems brought about by inappropriate anger.

Week two, we examined the fight-or-flight responses and saw both are damaging to God’s special creation.

The third week, we saw that God’s got mad in the Old Testament and used four (4) examples to show how His responses were always from a loving heart.

Week four, we noticed that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are recorded in the New Testament as getting angry and used three (3) examples from Jesus’ life and one from the Acts of the Holy Spirit to demonstrate their love in their actions.

In the fifth week, we mentioned three (3) areas where we as Christians need to get angry and how we could respond to the injustices in our world.

Last week, we finally got to Anger Management and learned to have a balanced approach to anger.

Today, with the Lord’s help, we are going to see seven (7) management tips to help get our anger under proper control.

I. Take a “Time Out!”

Most of us use a time out with our little children. In fact, we find it occasionally necessary to use, too, on Friday Nights with our youth. Although it may seem cliché, counting to ten (10) before reacting, or leaving the situation altogether, really can defuse our anger.

II. Do Something Physically Challenging!

Physical activity can provide an outlet for our emotions, especially if we are about to erupt. Physical exercise causes endorphins to be secreted by the brain and provides us a “feel good.” Go for a fast walk or a good run. Go swimming, lift weights, or put some boxing gloves on and beat a “bag.” Some have told me the value of golfing in these situations. Whatever you do, allow your body to be challenged by something other than your emotions.

III. Find Ways To Calm Down!

I encourage people to take deep breathes and “breathe in the breathe of God!” God breathed into our nostrils the breathe of life, so breathe in some more of God’s life! You can also read a good Bible passage or listen to Gospel music or write a love letter to someone you truly care about.

IV. Once Calm, Express Your Anger As Soon As Possible!

Do not allow yourself to “stew” the problem. If you can not express your anger in a controlled manner to the person who angered you, try talking to a family member, friend, counselor, or another trusted person. Scripture teaches that the sun must not go down on our anger – we must deal with it!

V. Think Carefully Before You Speak!

How often have we seen one expressing their anger and it leads to words spoken that everyone will regret for a long, long time! Words spoken can never totally be removed! Write a script and rehearse it so that you can stick to the issues before you speak.

VI. Use “I” Statements!

When describing the problem to avoid criticizing or placing blame, remember to use “I” statements. Example: “I am upset you did not help with the housework this evening,” instead of “You should have helped with the housework, you lazy bum!” To do otherwise, you will only escalate tensions instead of resolving issues.

VII. Use Humor, But Not Sarcasm!

Imagine yourself or the other person in a silly situation. For instance, imagine you are in a diaper, with a pacifier in your mouth, throwing a temper tantrum. See yourself lying on the floor, kicking and screaming. Notice something funny in the situation or even in the environment as a whole. Laughter is a good medicine.

Conclusion: These are very elementary solutions to helping us gain the upper hand in dealing with our anger. With the Lord’s help, we will conclude this series in two more Sundays. I hope these have been helpful to you or to someone you truly care about. Get these notes, or wait until they appear on our web site, and share them with others. I know that the Lord wants us to be emotionally healthy so we can do His work better! Let us allow the Lord to do His work in our lives, submitting to His Master plan!

~Pastor Erny

ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part VI

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Cor. 13:5 & 6 “[Love] … is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.”

Intro: Finally today we will begin looking toward the management part of this series. Remember, anger is a good emotion used by the entire Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The greatest problem with anger is truly two fold: 1. Often our display of anger takes us to sin; and 2. It often covers up other emotions like fear, frustration, and anxiety where we never deal with those things in our lives. It is only as we learn the difference between beneficial anger and destructive anger that we can become what God has created us to be.

The first week, we noted some of the physical and psychological problems brought about by inappropriate anger.

The second week, we examined the flight-or-fight response to anger and saw where both these are damaging to God’s creation.

The third week, we looked at four (4) Old Testament examples of God’s anger and how His responses were always from His heart of love.

The fourth week, we saw three (3) examples from the New Testament of Jesus’ anger (cleansing the Temple twice and His dealings with the Pharisees), and one (1) example of how the Holy Spirit acted out of love for the new Church when He dealt severely with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5)

Last week, we pointed out three things that I believe should stir our anger. I believe that we have become too passive and allow things to happen in our culture that we should be taking a stand against.

All of these notes are available and will be put on our web site when we have completed this series in a couple of weeks.

Today we want to see if we can learn how to have a balanced approach to anger. When properly accomplished, this approach will both control the emotion and allow the emotion to express itself in a healthy way. Let us look at some descriptions of actions of anger management:

I. The Direct Approach:

When I am angry, one way to help manage it is to be direct. It is important that I not beat around the bush. I will need to make my feelings as visible and conspicuous as possible by using body language to indicate that I am angry, clearly and honestly. I need to let the person who has made me angry know that they have made me angry and why I feel my feeling is appropriate.

II. The Honorable Approach:

Often it is necessary to make it apparent that there is some clear moral basis for my anger. I need to be prepared to argue my case, but be sure that I never use manipulation or emotional blackmail while doing it. In this approach I also need to be sure I am never abusing another person’s basic human rights and never unfairly hurting the weak or defenseless. I must always be ready to accept responsibility for my actions.

III. The Focused Approach:

I understand that I must focus on the issue and stick to the issue of concern. I must remember not to bring up irrelevant materials or rehash problems that have already been settled.

IV. The Persistent Approach:

There are some people that will try to minimize your emotion and it will be important for you to stand your ground and be self-defensive. It will require you to repeatedly express your feelings over and over again, because sometimes they just do not understand why you are angry.

V. The Courageous Approach:

We have a friend who believes his church is making a critical error in leasing out four (4) acres of their property for 175 years. He found only one ally, but the two of them sent leaders to the 150 Deacons and 18 Pastoral staff members. When they got no response from any of these, they attended the meeting and handed out information sheets explaining their position. This is an example of the courageous approach.

You must be willing to take a calculate risk and endure some short-term discomfort for a long-term gain. You must be willing to risk displeasing some others for a period of time and be willing to take the lead. You can not fear other’s displays of anger and be willing to stand outside the crowd and take ownership of your differences. For a Scriptural example, one only needs to look at Joshua and Caleb in Numbers 13.

VI. The Creative Approach:

This approach will require the angry person to think quickly and use more wit in the confrontation. One will be required to spontaneously come up with new ideas and new views on the subject that will help sway the other person’s opinion your way.

VII. The Listening Approach:

Anger creates a hostility filter, and often all you can hear is negative tones from the one who is making you angry. Many times, when one will just stop and truly listen to what is being said to you, he will realize that there is no need to even be angry or will quickly realize that they are the wrong party.

VIII. The Forgiving Approach:

This approach demonstrates a willingness to hear other people’s anger and grievance. Dr. Eva Feindler recommends that people try, in the heat of an angry moment, to see if they can understand where the alleged perpetrator is coming from. Empathy is very difficult when one is angry, but it can make all the difference in the world. Taking the other person’s point of view can be excruciating when in the throes of anger, but with practice it can become second nature. Once you hear the other’s point of view, it is imperative that you show an ability to wipe the slate clean once anger has been expressed.

Conclusion: When we realize that we can not be forgiven when we are unwilling to forgive, we are motivated to use any method available to get the problem solved as quickly as possible. Remember the words of Jesus (Luke 17:3&4) “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him“. And (Mark 11:25 NKJ) “But, if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.“.

Next week we will be looking at “Taming your Temper.”

~Pastor Erny

ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part V

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Cor. 13:5 & 6 “[Love] … is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.”

Intro: This is our fifth study concerning Anger Management, and I believe next week we will get to the Management stage! Anger is a good emotion used by the entire Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The greatest problem with anger is that it often covers up other emotions like fear, frustration, and anxiety and we never deal with those things in our lives. It is only as we learn the difference between the beneficial anger and the destructive anger that we can become what God has created us to be!

The first week, we saw that anger brings a lot of physical and psychological problems.

The second week, we examined the fight-or-flight response to anger.

The third week, we observed four (4) Old Testament examples of God’s anger and how God’s response was always from a heart of love.

Last week, we noted three (3) New Testament examples of Jesus’ anger (cleansing the Temple twice and His dealings with the Pharisees), and one (1) example of how the Holy Spirit acted out of love for the new Church when He dealt with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5).

Today, let us see some things that I believe we need to be angry about that maybe we have become too passive in our thinking and actions.

I. Baby Sacrifices:

For convenience, as a way to practice birth control, as a device for population control (as in China), to cover up another sin, and various other reasons, many people today are willing to sacrifice their unborn babies on an abortionist’s table.

When it was time to send a deliverer to Israel, to get them out of Egypt, Pharaoh had the babies killed. When Jesus was born to deliver all from sin, Herod decreed baby killing to be the law of the land. Now that Jesus is coming soon, the enemy of our souls is at work doing his best to get us to sacrifice our unborn and some who are so developed that they could live outside the womb.

We know that God judged Pharaoh and Herod; do we think for a moment that He will not judge us who are doing the same things?

I am not encouraging any radical behavior, but we need to love girls who find themselves pregnant and know they can not mother a child and give them a Godly alternative – like adoption! There are more parents who want to adopt than there are available children – none have to be killed for lack of good parents! Get involved in loving enough to confront and advise God’s way and not satan’s way!

II. False Prophets:

It was Wednesday, September 12, 1984. I had been pastoring in Kennett, Missouri for six (6) years. I had spent that morning at Nursing Homes visiting those from our congregation that were living there. When I went to one of the Homes, I was requested by the Nursing Staff to please go by and see a very distraught resident. When I got to her room, and got her to stop crying so I could understand what she was trying to say, she handed me a letter that said, “If you do not send me $1,000 by the end of this month, I will not be responsible for God’s judgment upon your children.” The lady did not have any money; she was being kept there by the State. After praying for her, I went to my office and prepared another sermon for that evening. It was titled, I’m Mad! My text was Matthew 7:15&16Watch out for false prophets … By their fruit you will recognize them …” There are many false prophets – we should be angry that people are perverting the gospel for profit! I believe in God’s Prosperity, but I get angry when I hear
people use it as a tool of manipulation! I believe in the Security of the Believers, but the way some teach it, since the devil once was a part of God’s Kingdom, he will not be ultimately lost – Baloney! I believe in Self-Help programs and 12 Step programs, but I believe that until the Lord comes into your life your change is only superficial! I believe in the Power of the Holy Spirit, but some teach that we get that with salvation and then are like the three (3) preachers in San Marcos, who Friday could not cast a demon out of a girl!

We need to get angry enough at false teachings that we expose them with truth! Now get ready – everyone is not going to like your doing that! I remember a young man asking me to meet with some Jehovah Witness leaders and to expose their errors, so maybe his girl friend would see the light – but today that young man is so disillusioned with everything that he doubts the very existence of God!

But, let us not only look at false leaders – what about people who claim to be Christian, but live like the devil? They lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc. and still claim to be living for the Lord! Those who belonged to this Chapel, who were living like the devil, have hurt the cause of Jesus Christ badly here in this community! People outside the Church have high expectations of those living inside! We must be careful that we do not destroy their possible relationship with the Lord by our loose living!

III. The Secularization Of Our Nation

The USA was founded on Biblical principles. Now we have such ignorant Court rulings that have banned prayer and the Bible from our schools – taken the 10 Commandments out of our public grounds – removed Nativity scenes from our Community Squares – refused to teach Christmas Carols to our school children – do I need to go on with this list? Right has become wrong and wrong has become right! Common decency has been replaced with not only open sin, but with the celebration of sinful acts! Adultery and Homosexuality are still criminal offenses in some States, but who is enforcing it? Remember, Psalms 9:17 “…Every nation that forgets God shall be turned into Hell.”

It used to be that every child went to Sunday School. Now, parents are too busy and/or too lazy even to get their little ones ready for someone to pick up. It used to be that at least Mothers took kids to church, now they have followed Dads and they all stay at home! Many Christians will miss Church tonight to watch the Super Bowl! – I Hope Jesus Does Not Come Tonight!

At our present rate, my Grandkids’ peers will be totally godless, or possibly even god-fighters! We have got to return to our Christ centered roots are we will be lost and America will be no more! I am taking my stand this election and refuse to vote for a Moslem or a Mormon for President of the USA in our Texas Primaries!

Conclusion: I could go on, but I believe you see that there are many things that are happening in Port O’Connor that we need to get angry enough about to see them changed! I will do what I can with the world and even the National scene, but I must do what I can at the local level to be Jesus exalted! This is the kind of anger that God is pleased with!

~Pastor Erny

ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part IV

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Cor. 13:5 & 6 “[Love] … is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.”

Intro: This is our fourth study concerning Anger Management, and we have not gotten to the Management stage yet! We have learned that Anger is a good emotion used both by God Almighty and today we are seeing it used by Jesus Christ. The greatest problem with anger is that it often covers up other emotions like fear, frustration, and anxiety. It is only as we learn the difference between the beneficial anger and the destructive anger that we can become what we were created to be.

The first week, we saw that our society is so against anger that most is viewed as immature or uncivilized. We looked at the damaging effects of sand bagging, and noted that it often brings on additional problems like clinical depression and bipolar disorders. It can fan the flame of paranoia and prejudice and is often expressed by either fight-or-flight.

The second week, we examined fight-or-flight responses and saw that anger is often expressed in ways that it is not easily identified. We saw that threats, bullying, and some manic behaviors are ways some express their aggressive anger. We saw that manipulation, self-blame, and obsessive behaviors are ways some express their passive anger.

Last week, we saw examples of God’s anger as seen in the pages of the Old Testament. We recognized that God banishing Adam and Eve from the Garden after they sinned was an act of His love. He did not want them to have to spend eternity struggling with sin. God dealt harshly with Korah and his companions because He wanted His children kept from open rebellion. God refused to allow Moses to enter the Promised Land because He needed a leader who would listen closely and follow Him in new revelations.

Today, we will look at three (3) examples of anger in the New Testament – two from Jesus Christ and one from the Holy Spirit.

I. Jesus Cleansing The Temple

A. (John 2) When Jesus was beginning His earthly ministry, He went to the Jerusalem Temple to observe Passover. When he got to the outer courts, the only place He could enter because He was neither a Levite nor from the linage of Aaron, He found so much noise, turmoil, and cheating that He was sickened. He had gone to pray, but found sheep, cattle, and doves being sold and people selling temple coins for a handsome profit. This practice was not found in the Old Testament, but began after the Jewish Captivity when they returned and rebuilt the Jerusalem Temple. So enraged that “Our Father’s House” was being treated as some common street market, Jesus wove a whip from the cattle bedding, and symbolically whipped the merchants and drove them out.

Jesus was not just throwing an angry fit, but was doing what He could to return God’s people back to Godly worship. The sheep and cattle were there as sacrifices, but God did not want people simply to buy their gifts – He wanted them to put the time and effort in raising an offering without spot or blemish. Some have noted that Jesus treated the dove sellers different as if He had special feelings for doves, but there is no indication from Scripture to support such. He treated them different simply because the doves were caged. The moneychangers were providing a service to the worshippers, but were cheating those who came to get the temple coins. Remember God’s two laws, (Love God and Treat your neighbor as yourself) these people were breaking both of them.

B. (Matthew 21Mark 11 Luke 19) Four days before His death on Calvary, again Jesus saw God’s House. This time He did not make a symbolic whip. On His way to the Cross – to die for the sins of the people, and seeking a place to pray, He only found a “den of robbers.” His heart was broken and He attempted to set the matter right.

II. Pharisees And Herodians (Mark 3)

Jesus had just dealt with these same people when they accused Him and His disciples of breaking the Sabbath by taking some grain and rubbing them together to separate the chaff from the grain to eat. He had tried to explain to them that God had made the Sabbath as a day of rest for the benefit, not the hardship, of the people. Now, He enters the Temple, and these same guys were watching to see if He would break another of their Sabbath laws.

Jesus notices that there is a man there with a shriveled hand. This man can not do what others can because he is handicapped. Having compassion on the man, Jesus tells him to stretch it out, and when the man obeys, his hand is restored.

The Scriptures are plain in explaining the reason for Jesus’ anger. Different translation versions state it as: ( KJV) ” being grieved for the hardness of their hearts” (ASV) “at the hardening of their hearts” (Beck) “because their minds were closed” (Phil) “ deeply distressed by their callousness” (TAY) “ deeply disturbed by their indifference to human need“. Jesus saw this for what it truly was – they just did not like Jesus and were looking for any reason to have Him killed. Jesus was trying to help others not follow their spiritual leaders directions, because they were leading them places they should not go! Jesus wants us to be compassionate – to heal not kill, to do good not evil.

III. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5)

The Church that Jesus was building was new. There had been a great revival begun on the Day of Pentecost, when 3,000 were added to the Church. It was continuing to grow when the Church was multiplying as people were being added daily. With this growth came great persecution. Peter and John had already been before the Sanhedrin and told never to mention Jesus’ name again. The Church was experiencing great financial problems, so much that several were selling their possessions and giving it to the Church so the needs could be met – they understood the Church needed money!

Along comes two, who claimed to be a part of The Way, as it was then known, who saw an opportunity to make themselves look good. They were apparently looking for power or fame. They sold a piece of property, told everyone what they had done and made people believe they had given all. In truth, they had kept part of the money from that sell for themselves.

It was not wrong for them to keep part of the money – the wrong was that they were trying to make people believe that they were doing something that they were not doing.

You remember that by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, Peter pronounced they were lying and would drop dead! Peter did not kill them – the Holy Spirit killed them!

Why? As long as you refuse to admit your wrong, you can never have an opportunity to be saved! The Holy Spirit’s job is to bring us to salvation – No one can come to the Father except the Spirit draws him. Had they been allowed to follow the popular paths, they would never have become followers of Jesus! Had others seen they could gain advantages through lying, others would also not have been truly saved! God can not stand hypocrisy! He is willing to forgive, but don’t try to hide sin, because He will expose them in order to get you to confess and forsake them!

Conclusion: Yes, God got angry in the Old Testament and Jesus and the Holy Spirit got angry in the New Testament! And they acted on their anger in ways that were meant to be redemptive! God is never vindictive, but His nature is always to be loving, caring, and wanting the best for His people. When we understand that God does everything out of His heart of love, we will better understand His actions. When we see what makes God angry, we will better understand things that should make us angry.

~Pastor Erny

ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part III

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Cor. 13:5 & 6 “[Love] … is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.”

Intro: Have you ever wanted to be a “fly on the wall” to get a glance from inside how a certain family functions? I surely have! I have seen some families that seem to have it so together, but I notice that there are times that an obvert dysfunction shines. I have seen other families that appeared to be totally out of control, but whose kids turned out to be God honoring and God serving.

To get an answer to such a picture, I would want to see the differing approaches to acts of love. I would want to see the parties and the hugs, but because every family member must learn how they fit in the family structure, I know that I would also have to see the disciplines and how it was administered and why. To outsiders, some acts of discipline seem to be just cruel acts of aggression by the strong against the weak, but in the context of the family, they were seen as extreme acts of love.

Today, we are going to look at some examples of what some, looking in on the scene from outside the family unit and from this distance, would say that God was vindictive, cruel, and some have dared to call God “mean spirited.”

I. Garden of Eden

God instructed all of His creations created in His imagine, Adam and Eve, that they were to enjoy everything in the Garden except one fruit. They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We know what happened – they ate and were thrown out of the Garden! But, why? What was the big deal?

God had forbid them from eating from this one fruit to keep their innocence – it was an extreme act of love. God did not want them to grow up so quickly; He wanted to protect them from themselves. The devil made them believe that God was withholding something that would open them up to new and exciting possibilities, but this act of rebellion against God truly brought about their death.

God wanted them to stay protected from the knowledge of good and evil – He wanted them to only know the good, but the devil wanted them to know the evil. Loving families will always attempt to protect their children from growing up too fast, but the enemy is always wanting kids to learn things before they know what to do with the information.

God, in His love knew that He had to banish His children from the Garden lest they eat also from the tree of life – which they had undoubtedly eaten from many times before, but God knew that once we understand the evil, we do not want to stay in that knowledge forever. One day, soon I hope, God will again place us in His special Garden where we will know evil no more, because of His act of love!

II. Korah

In Numbers 16, we have the story of Korah, one of Levi’s sons, who incited some of his cousins and other community leaders to rise up against Moses and Aaron. Korah and his associates had seen the advantages of the priesthood in Egypt. Egyptian priests had great wealth and political influence and Korah wanted those things for himself. Korah did not understand that Moses and Aaron were not trying to copy Egyptian examples, but follow their Father God’s directives. Moses and Aaron’s only ambition was to serve God, not to control the people for personal power or gain.

Korah had significance, worthwhile abilities, and a place uniquely his own. No one was trying to keep Korah from being all he could be. But, Korah’s ambition to remove another from his God appointed place, cause him and his followers to lose everything. Korah could not be allowed to win in his rebellion against God’s authority or the results would be open rebellion would become the norm in the Israelite community. God did not become so angry that He struck Korah without mercy, but God displayed His great mercy by giving Korah many opportunities to repent, warned him where his path was leading, and them followed through with His discipline for not only Korah’s good, but for the good of the entire Jewish nation.

God knows that rebellion is like witchcrafts – which is allowing the devil to control one’s life instead of being under the loving care of our Heavenly Father. In His great love for His family, God will strike at the heart of rebellion in ways that outsiders might believe to be cruelty, but is protective within the family community.

III. The Wilderness Purge

We all remember that God wanted to take His people out of Egypt’s bondage and take them to a land that was flowing with milk and honey. Miraculously, God delivered about 3 million slaves from the strongest nation known to mankind at the time, plundering the nations of its wealth and destroying its vast army. And, remember these slaves did all this without firing even one shot! Miraculously, God provided form them all the food (manna) and water (once even from a rock) they needed to make this journey. Miraculously, God provided shade for them from the desert sun and warmth for them from the desert nighttime cold with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. Miraculously, God allows them to grip and complain against Himself and His representatives. God takes them to the Promise Land in about two months and directs them to send representatives over to see where they wanted to begin settling.

But, you remember what happened. Ten of the twelve representatives (one from each tribe) returned with an evil report and the people voted to not follow God’s leadership any more. God had set up a theocracy form of government, but He allowed them to have a democracy, even through God knew it would lead them to their own deaths.

Because they wanted to go their own ways, god allowed them to and allowed only the two (Joshua and Caleb) who stood for God’s choice to enter the Promised Land. God did not remove the consequences of their bad choices! Every person who voted to go his own way instead of God’s way died in the wilderness. God does not want robots to serve Him, but He wants us to know that there will be natural consequences of our bad choices. If we refuse to go His way, we will suffer and die just as the Children of Israel did. God love us enough that He gives us examples of what the bad choices will bring us to.

IV. Moses’ Death

Many just do not understand why God would take His leader, after all that he had to go through in leading these rebellious people for almost 40 years, and not allow him to enter Canaan. Moses had been forgiven of murder, when he killed the Egyptian. Moses had been forgiven his failure to follow God’s directive in circumcising his sons because his wife thought the act to be barbaric. Moses had been forgiven his failure to accept his God given place of leadership and God sent Aaron to speak for him before Pharaoh. There were many opportunities to get rid of Moses had God wanted, but God is always longsuffering, not willing for any to perish.

But, Moses was under the pressure of the people to get them some water. Remember, these were rebellious people dying in the wilderness for their refusal to go God’s way. Moses prayed, asking for God’s direction in providing water for this vast nation. God told him to speak to the rock and water would flow. When the Children of Israel had first come out of Egypt, God had told Moses to strike the rock to bring water for the people. This time, God said to speak to the rock. Moses in his frustration and anger decided to do it his way, the way he had done it before, and hit the rock with his staff. God provided the water, but He was not pleased with His servant Moses. As a result, God told Moses he would die with the rest of the people in t he wilderness and not be allowed to go into the Promised Land.

What was the big deal? Speak or strike – water would come out either way! Remember, God was leading a much younger group of people into Canaan. The folks who had seen him strike the rock were almost all dead. This was a new day and God was about to do a new thing. He needed a leader who would be adaptable and not set in his own ways to enter this new land. Moses could change, but he showed that if angered or frustrated, he would resort to the old paths and fail to obey God’s directive. God needs people who will listen to Him, because we truly do not know all that God is trying to do in blessing His creation! We always fail when we believe we know what is best instead of following God’s Word. God will not allow you or me to do things our own way and still expect His best! Moses could not be trusted to do things God’s way, therefore, even Moses had to be replaced!

Conclusion: I could spend several more weeks looking at this subject, and talk of the Egyptians, Balaam, the fiery snakes, and the nations of Canaan. We cold look at Cain, Akin, and Ely and others who fell under God’s judgment. We would question why Uzzah died when he touched the Ark of the Covenant when he was simply trying to keep it from toppling to the ground. But, the important message for us today is that God will always deal harshly with sin, but will forgive us when we choose Him. Remember, no one can serve two masters. God does not just get mad and get even, but He is attempting to teach us with examples that life lived under His directives will always bring us to His place of love! Let us determine to go God’s way!

Next week we will be looking toward the New Testament to see why God got angry and why. As we understand God’s ways, I believe it will help us in our struggles with anger in our own lives!

~Pastor Erny