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Rage Rash
Scripture: Ephesians 4:26-27; John 2:13-17; Genesis...
Track 8 of 12 in the Soul Detox series
Running time: 1 hour, 04 minutes, 48 seconds.
The Bible has a lot to say about anger and what we are to do to control it. Anger can be a natural emotion. Jesus himself experienced anger but the question we have to deal with is what we do when anger overcomes us.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Rage Rash
Neutralizing the Acid of Anger

How many of you enjoy going out to the movies? When you attend a movie, what are the personal rules you follow? Where are the best seats to watch a movie?

When we go to movies there are movie creatures that can make our movie experience not as enjoyable as planned. Maybe one of these creatures have tried to crash in on your movie date night or even worse, you are one of these creatures.

Space Invader: Usually a late arriver and walks straight into your row and plops down right next to you clearly breaking the empty 1 seat rule. I hate it when a guy does that to me because that means he and I will be battling over the disputed armrest border territory. This means there is going to be guy skin against guy skin…so wrong.

Switchboard Operator: She thinks that watching a movie presents the ideal opportunity to catch up on a few phone calls and texts. Her phone rings and she actually answers it.

The Commentator: They become the play by play commentator like the ones on TV during a football game. They never shut-up and some are totally clueless from the time the movie starts all the way till the end. They constantly ask questions why this or that happened or they say, “I don’t get it” and rattle off 100 questions waiting for someone to help them.

The Spoiler: This person is the ring leader of the evil movie creatures. He has supernatural powers to see 5 minutes into the future. Worse, he believes it is his responsibility to make sure everybody knows that he knows exactly what is going to happen next and when he is correct, he gloats about it to everyone. Forget it if this guy has already seen the movie; he will proceed to tell you everything before it happens just to make the movie easier on your surprise.

We can laugh at these types of people but they can be annoying and if we let them get under our skin, they go from being an annoying person to someone we might love to push down the stairs if given the chance as we leave the theater. Watching a Cub/Cardinal game in St. Louis surrounded by the evil Cardinal fans can be fun for a while until the Cubs start playing like a little league team and the fans around you love reminding you of it….inning after every slow, long inning.

A person cuts you off in traffic or someone is very rude to you, by nature, what is your first response? Are you a road commentator giving advice on how to drive?

There are a lot of situations that start out as little annoyances but can work under your skin to raise your blood pressure enough to cause a natural disaster. What are some of the high blood pressure moments in your home that are caused by small little annoyances? Are there situations that really make your blood boil? These aren't little annoyances; these are situations that strike at your heart and cause you to get to a level called anger.

The Bible has a lot to say about anger and what we are to do to control it. Anger can be a natural emotion. Jesus himself experienced anger but the question we have to deal with is what we do when anger overcomes us. 15 different times in scripture anger and fire are used together. Fire is a gift from God that can sustain life. When it is contained, when you control it and when you manage it, fire can warm you. You can cook with it. You can use it to heat water for a warm bath or use it to light candles or lamps to illuminate dark nights.

However, when a fire rages out of control, it can destroy everything in its path. Just like fire, anger can be used constructively or destructively. Anger, when used as a catalyst for injustice and the pursuit of God’s righteousness, anger can cleanse, restore and unite. But if we allow our anger to rage out of control in conjunction with our desires, frustrations, and grievances, it can lead us to hurt others and ourselves.

When was the last time you had guests sleep over at your house? How many enjoy this type of hospitality? When was the last time you invited the devil into your heart for a sleepover? Strange Question?

Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV)
"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.

Just like fire, there are two types of anger. There is a good anger and then there is an anger we have to avoid at all cost.

Good Anger: Sanctified or righteous anger. This is the powerful emotion we experience when we get upset at something that affronts God, something opposing the truth. This kind of anger causes us to react in a righteous way.

John 2:13-17 (NIV)
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

Bad Anger (Sinful Anger): Anger becomes sinful when we let it get out of control. We lose control of our emotions and take matters into our own hands. Sinful anger is getting angry at something, even something that angers God but this anger causes us to do something wrong.

“Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” Ehp 4:27 When you get angry does it take a long time to get over what it was that angered you? Why?

Why is it important that we don’t let our anger linger beyond sundown? It creates an opportunity or location. In fact, this kind of wrong anger is enemy territory. If you open the door of your heart through your anger, you’re offering to the devil a guestroom for him to occupy. Talk about sleeping with the enemy!!

There are so many examples in the Bible when people allowed the enemy to set up camp in their hearts. When Cain was angry over his offering being rejected by God, God saw immediately that Cain’s anger was the wrong kind. God told Cain to get control of his anger or there would be problems.

Genesis 4:4-7 (NIV)
But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Hopefully you've never allowed your boiling point to get to the level Cain allowed his; to take someone’s life. But, if you allowed your anger to boil to the point that you wished a person to die, in God’s eyes, that is just as bad and dangerous. For many the statement is true; If I could, I would.

Matthew 5:21-22 (NIV)
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

The word “Raca” was an Aramaic term of contempt, very similar to the words we use like idiot or jerk. There have been times when I was angry that I used words worse than that. The Bible is very clear, if we don’t get a handle on our anger, it will get a handle on us.

So how do we go about managing our anger when it shows up? What are some of the steps you take to keep yourself from reacting in a harmful way?

Proverbs 14:17 (NIV)
A quick-tempered man does foolish things…

Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

James 1:19-20 (NIV)
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

According to James there are three things we can do to prevent ourselves from sinning when we become angry:

1. Listen: Listen carefully to what is said but more importantly listen to what God tells you in your heart and the scripture you know concerning God’s grace, his mercy and his love for everyone. This could become a moment where you win someone’s heart for Christ by acting the same way Jesus did when He found himself in the same spot.

2. Process before Speaking: Sometimes you might have to allow several minutes, hours or even days to pass to allow your emotions to clam down and then reason what the proper reaction should be. Basically, allow time for the good anger to appear. Also allow time to pray for help from the Holy Spirit to clam your heart down.

3. Don’t jump straight to being angry: Seven different writers in the Bible all noticed that one great trait of God, “He is slow to anger”.

Nehemiah 9:16-18 (NIV)
"But they, our forefathers, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, 'This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,' or when they committed awful blasphemies.