ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part I

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

I Corinthians 13:5 “… love is not easily provoked … not easily angered …”

Introduction: A puppy is kicked against the living room wall. A crying infant is caught by his heels and hurled against its nursery’s wall. A teen murders his parents, then goes to school and shoots several of his peers and a teacher. A mother walks out on the most important things in her life – her family. Another mother drops her offspring in the dumpster behind the local convenience store.

Angry people are said to be mad, and maybe that is right! Often anger causes people to act insanely! Anger will consume your happiness, steal your joy, affect your health, damage your relationships, and often leads to murder.

We are going to begin a journey, you and me, into this subject that none of us like to talk about! We are going to examine what anger is and where it comes from. We are going to seek from the Bible what God gets angry about and how He responds. We are going to look at several ways to help us control inappropriate anger responses. These will be messages that many people in Port O’Connor need to hear, but they will not unless you personally encourage them to attend. I do not know how many weeks we will be looking at this subject, but I am sure it will be several. Let’s get started!

Anger is a good emotion used both by God Almighty and Jesus Christ! The greatest problem with anger is that it covers up other emotions like fear, frustrations, 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.

I. Modern Anger

A. In today’s society, most anger is viewed as an immature or uncivilized response to frustration, threat, violation, or loss. Much of the angry expressions we see are indeed just that – immature or uncivilized. When society fails to respond with penalties that are strong enough, such actions will continue. But, when parents and/or governments refuse to condone such “temper tantrums,” more appropriate actions will follow!

B. Conversely, keeping calm, coolheaded, or “turning the other cheek” is considered more socially acceptable. This conditioning can also cause inappropriate expressions of anger such as uncontrolled violent outbursts, misdirected anger, or repressing all feelings of anger when it would be an appropriate response to the situation.

C. “Bottled up anger” can lead to persistent violent thoughts or actions, nightmares, and even physical symptoms, such as ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome. Some call this anger “Sand Bagging.”

D. Anger can also aggravate an already present mental health problem such as clinical depression. It is a fact that some depression is simply the results of anger turned inwards. The reason for this is because many depressed people react to stress by turning their anger inward as a response to physical or emotional abuse or neglect. Depressed person’s who deny their anger will often have unhappy and unhealthy interpersonal relationships.

E. Another side-effect of anger is that it often fuels obsessions, phobias, addictions, and manic tendencies. People who are not able to express their anger will let it out in some sort of furious activity, which can result in clinical depression or even bipolar disorder.

F. Anger can fan the flames of paranoia and prejudice, even in normal, everyday situations. People tend to express their anger either passively or aggressively through what is called the “fight-or-flight” response. The passive flight response is repression and denial of anger for safety. However, aggressive behavior is associated with the fight response and the use of the verbal and physical power of anger to abuse and hurt others.

II. The Harm Of Anger

Henry Drummond writes in his book, “The Greatest Thing in the World,” the following:

No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to unchristianize 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!

Conclusion: The term anger management refers to a system of psychological therapeutic techniques and exercises by which someone with excessive or uncontrollable anger can control or reduce the triggers, degrees, and effects of an anger emotional state. God has the answer for all our anger needs – let’s seek Him!

~ Pastor Erny

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