Anger, One Letter Short of Danger
—Home Church Sermon— It seems these days most people are angry
Some of these people can actually be defined
by their anger.
We call them, “Angry people”.
It doesn’t matter what is going on,
“Angry people” will find something
to be angry about.
Are you one of those people?
If you are, then it is probably because you feel that
your anger is “justified”.
Most “Angry people” think that they are justified.
And it may be true.
But the Bible says that you can be angry,
but not “become the embodiment” of anger.
You should not become an “Angry Person”.
But this seems to be what is demonstrated
in our current culture.
With protests, riots and demonstrations displaying
such anger, some call this an,
“Age of Rage.”
There are others however, who could be defined by their calmness and patience.
They live in-control of their emotions.
Their anger is under-control whether they have a right to be angry or not.
“Righteous Anger” = The things that you have a right
to be angry about because they involve sin that God
is angry about as well.
What we see happening today is that the
“Angry people” are trying-the-patience and calmness
of the “Calm, patient people”.
This adds to our current,
“Age of Rage”
That is why I have chosen to write on a very
important verse in the Bible that talks about properly
dealing with anger.
While there are entire books written on the subject
I want to introduce the basics of the subject
addressed in Ephesians.
“In your anger do not sin:
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal
no longer, but must work, doing something useful
with their own hands, that they may have something to
share with those in need. 29 Do not let any
unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but
only what is helpful for building others up according
to their needs, that it may benefit those who
listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of
God, with whom you were sealed for the day of
redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and
anger, brawling and slander, along with every form
of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one
another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ
God forgave you.
Your car has a warning light when you are
low on gas.
It does no good to get mad at the light.
Your problem isn’t the little red light.
It is your empty gas tank.
Now it could be true that if you are not
the only one driving that car, you may have a
right to be angry at the last driver or the one
that is responsible for filling up.
But either way, the anger that you feel will
need to be properly dealt with or things
will only get worse.
Let’s look verse-by-verse at
Ephesians 4:26-32 to get a better handle on
anger so that it does not lead us into more
Remember that ANGER is only one letter short of another
word that starts with a “D”.
Let’s not let “Anger” become “Danger”.
A Look at Ephesians 4:26-32 Verse-by-Verse
“In your anger, do not sin.” (v.26)
[Whether you have a “right” to be angry or not,
it is never O.K. to react to that anger by sinning]
* Anger alone isn’t necessarily a sin;
even God gets angry.
*We need to find out “why” we are so angry.
What is behind our anger?
If we don’t figure it out, things will only get worse
and lead to worse things.
*Hurt, frustration, inconvenience and fear
most often play a role in our being angry.
“Do not let the sun go down while you are
still angry.” (v.26)
*When we go to bed angry, we wake up
angrier, because it has settled in.
Your favorite team loses a game on a bad
call. Instant replays confirm the bad
call, but no change is made.
Every time you see the play over and over
again, your anger increases.
It may even play in your head in your
dreams. You may be so angry that you can’t
even make it to your dreams because
you can’t even go to sleep.
“Do not let the sun go down” = does not
literally mean that we can’t go to bed mad.
If that were the case,
we might get very little sleep.
What it means is that we should not go to
bed without having a plan to properly and
biblically deal with the anger that we feel.
“And do not give the devil a foothold.” (v.26)
*Anger opens the door to Satan to tempt you
in a variety of additional ways.
*Anger has a way of fanning out
and spreading like wildfire.
Adam & Eve’s first son is an example of
giving the Devil an open-door to tempt him
to do something as serious as
And the murder of his very own brother
Here is the true account of how it happened.
Then the Lord said to Cain,
“Why are you angry?
Why is your face downcast?
[He was jealous that God accepted his
brother’s offering and not his]
If you DO what is right, will you not be accepted?
[His brother Abel brought the best of his animals
for his offering to God while Cain saved the best
of his fruits for himself]
But if you DO NOT do what is right,
sin is crouching at your door;
[Picture God saying it this way:
If you don’t give the first fruits or the best of your
farming crops like your brother Abel did,
then you will be tempted with a greater sin
You will be tempted with murdering your brother
to get rid of what you “think” is the source of your
anger, namely your brother Abel.]
it [sin] desires to have you,
but you must rule over it.” [Get it under-control]
[Anger does not have to get the best of us.
We can control it with God’s help.]
Back to Ephesians 4:28-32
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer,
but must work, doing something useful with their
own hands, that they may have something to
share with those in need.
What God is saying here is:
Don’t be a “Taker”
Be a “Giver”
Many “Takers” are angry people and try to satisfy
their anger by taking more.
But taking will never satisfy the feeling of anger.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out
of your mouths . . .”
* Many times we don’t realize the harm
and negativity that comes out from our mouths
when we are angry or in an angry state.
The angrier we become, the more we will
be tempted to curse and swear.
This is part of unwholesome talk.
It seems that swearing generally increases
the angrier that we become.
It is often proportional to our degree of anger.
A gentle word is part of wholesome talk.
* “A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
- Proverbs 15:1
Another way of saying that is;
A “well-controlled mouth” can neutralize anger.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God . . .” (v.30)
[We grieve the Holy Spirit by not listening to him.]
Every time we get angry, we turn a deaf ear
to the Holy Spirit’s counsel and conviction.
If early in the match,
a call goes against a great tennis player,
and uncontrolled anger sets in,
everything that the player previously learned
can easily be forgotten and the match will go
nowhere but downhill.
It would be as if the player stopped listening to
his or her coach and all that was previously
learned and practiced.
That would grieve the coach.
This is how the Holy Spirit is grieved as well.
When we let anger control us, we cease utilizing
and listening to the Holy Spirit.
We should all ask ourselves the question,
What lies behind our anger?
Suffering > Anger
Perhaps physical pain or emotional suffering.
It may be relational conflict, like when you feel
rejected by somebody else.
We just can't believe what's happening to us.
Frustration > Anger
When things aren't going our way
Whenever anything makes you feel helpless or
out of control of things, we can easily get frustrated
leading to anger.
Fear > Anger
Fear can trigger anger.
Do you remember when Jesus and his disciples got
caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee?
What was Jesus doing?
He was sleeping.
Mark 4:38 tells us that Jesus' disciples woke him up
with ANGRY voices accusing him,
"Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
How does Jesus deal with their anger?
Does he ask,
"Why are you so angry?"
No. He asks,
"Why are you so AFRAID?"
They were angry because they were AFRAID.
People often get angry when paying bills.
Because we may be AFRAID we may not have enough
to make ends meet, at least now or in the future.
We're angry at our bosses, because we are AFRAID
their arbitrary decision could eliminate our jobs.
When you're angry, ask the question:
What’s the real issue here?
Because whatever is behind the anger is what you
need to ask God to help you with.
Dr. Paul Meier, a psychiatrist and best-selling author,
says that ANGER is probably responsible for
95 percent of psychological depressions.
God asked Jonah to preach his message to the wicked
people of Ninevah, and Jonah refused at first,
until God got his attention with a big fish.
Jonah eventually went to Ninevah,
the people repented and turned to God.
And everybody was happy--except Jonah.
The Scripture tells us that Jonah didn't like
the Ninevites, so he was ANGRY WITH GOD for
not utterly destroying them.
Jonah's anger became depression.
Jonah concludes with asking God to let him die.
That is anger turned inward.
Proverbs 14:17 says,
"An angry person does foolish things."
Proverbs 29:22 says, "A hot tempered man
commits many sins."
"We all know that Alexander the Great conquered
the world. But what few people know is that this
mighty general could not conquer himself.
Cletus, a dear friend of Alexander's and a general
in his army, became intoxicated and ridiculed
the emperor in front of his men. Blinded by anger,
quick as lightning, Alexander snatched a spear from
the hand of a soldier and hurled it at Cletus.
Though he had only intended to scare the drunken general,
his aim was true and the spear took the life of his childhood
friend. Deep remorse followed his anger. Overcome
with guilt, Alexander tried to take his own life
with the same spear, but was stopped by his men.
For days he lay sick calling for his friend Cletus,
chiding himself as a murderer." Alexander the Great
conquered many cities. He conquered many
countries, but he failed miserably to conquer his
own self." [He let his ANGER get the best of him]
- Erwin Lutzer, “Managing Your Emotions”
Some of us have been wrongly taught from
childhood that the way to deal with anger is
to suppress it.
But trying to suppress anger is almost as impossible
as trying to hold a beachball under the water.
It has a way of continuing to pop back up.
Wrongly EXPRESSING Anger
will only intensifie it.
We get angrier.
Wrongly SUPPRESSING Anger
will only intensifie it as well.
Correctly REPLACING Anger
with something far better.
Replace it with Christlike qualities.
31 GET RID OF [By REPLACING it with kindness,
compassion, forgiveness just as Jesus lived.]
all bitterness, rage and ANGER, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you.
[As Jesus was HUMBLE, so should we be.]
I don't think I've ever known a truly HUMBLE person
who had a problem with anger.
To HUMBLY trust Jesus with the dangerous
situations of your life means to trust
him with your ANGER as well.
Remember that ANGER is only one letter
short of another word that starts with a “D”.
Let’s not let “Anger” become “Danger”.
“Be Jesus to others”
“He is always Jesus to us.”
Wouldn’t the world be a less angry place if we did?
Wouldn’t we be less angry and more contently
joyful as well?
I thank God the Father that he directed his anger at
sin towards Jesus who took our sin upon himself
on the cross.
By accepting his forgiveness for every one of your
sins (big and small) you can feel freedom from the
anger that you have with yourself that may have
been plaguing other areas of your life as well.
“Surely he [Jesus] took up our pain and bore
our suffering, [on the cross]
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced [crucified] for our
transgressions, [our sins]
he was crushed [killed] for our iniquities; [our sins]
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, [Jesus]
and by his wounds we are healed. [forgiven]
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him [Jesus]
the iniquity [sin] of us all.”
I thank you Heavenly Father, that you are not angry
at me for any of my sins and failures.
I thank you Jesus, that you willingly went to the
cross to face the Father’s anger at sin which needed
to be dealt with and paid for.
And I thank you Holy Spirit for comforting me
and strengthening me to:
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and ANGER, brawling
and slander, along with every form of malice by
replacing it with kindness, compassion
and forgiveness for one another,
just as Jesus has done for us.
In Jesus’ name.
Word of Life Church
17525 W. Bell Rd.
Surprise, AZ 85374