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 16:32 “He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that takes a city.” Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Anger 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&20 “Let 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!