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Love Is Not Easily Angered

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LOVE IS NOT EASILY ANGERED

1 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

HOW DO YOU TAME YOUR TEMPER?

1. RESOLVE To Manage It

Proverbs 29:11 ESV
11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
We have a choice to make. We can give “full vent” which is harmful or we can “quietly hold it back.” Because we have a choice, we can resolve to manage it.
It’s easy to say, “That’s just the way I am...” or, “I can’t change...” without realizing that those statements don’t carry weight.
You can have a major fight with your spouse or children and be angry in the car, but walk into church and be sweet and nice. That is called managing your anger.

2. REMEMBER The Cost

Proverbs 29:22 ESV
22 A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.
This verse teaches us that there are two outcomes to anger. First, anger stirs up strife. In other words, if you seem to be constantly in conflict with people, look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I the one who is projecting anger?” If you manage your anger, you may see a decrease in strife. Anger can really hurt relationships.
Anger also causes much transgression, much sin. Anger can lead to making meaningful change, but one cannot read a newspaper or watch the news for very long to see that postal workers who shoot others, people who go into their former place of employment or into a school are often people who are full of anger. When we are angry we say and do things we would never say or do if we were not angry. Anger leads to much sin.
Proverbs 15:18 ESV
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
The contrast in this verse is not between a person who is angry and one who is not; the contrast is between the person who is hot-tempered and one who is slow to anger. Some people get angry quickly at things. They often get over it quickly, but the results on those around them linger. It produces strife.
The person who is slow to anger often quiets contention, nips it in the bud before it shows up.
Proverbs 14:29 ESV
29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
A second cost to a temper is that you lose people’s respect. A person who is perpetually angry gets tuned out. They often speak without thinking. They project negativity. People dismiss them.
Those who are slow to anger are often people who appear to have greater understanding.
These two truths are brought out in Proverbs 14:17.
Proverbs 14:17 ESV
17 A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.
The best place to start working on controlling your anger is in the home.
Proverbs 11:29 ESV
29 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
What do you get as a result of causing problems in your home? Nothing! The wind!
There is a cost to losing your temper.
The third way to tame your temper is to

3. REFLECT Before Reacting

Proverbs 29:11 ESV
11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
Think before you do anything. Some people encourage counting to ten. A wise man holds back from venting.
Proverbs 19:11 ESV
11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Good sense is the ability to look at the bigger picture. Good sense is remembering what happened the last time you were angry. Good sense slows up your actions.
People who are able to overlook offenses are people we don’t understand but respect. We say to them, “How could you let that go?” We know we wouldn’t. We honor them for their self-control. “…it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
Let me share two observations.

First, we need to ask for God’s help in dealing with our temper and how we express it.

Psalm 141:3 ESV
3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
The Psalmist realizes that under normal circumstances that things flow out of the mouth that never should come out. He is praying for God’s help.
God often helps by reminding us to be careful.
God often helps by the rebuke of a friend.
God often helps by His renewing work in us through remembering a verse, a sermon or small group or the awareness of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

A second observation is that anger and alcohol often go hand in hand.

Proverbs 20:1 ESV
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
Alcohol and many drugs lower our inhibitions. Under the influence of alcohol the normal boundaries on our speech and actions are lowered. People often drink to get the courage to say or do something they would never say or do.
Many families have experienced physical and emotional abuse because of the anger of a person who has consumed alcohol. Read the newspaper. Many of the restraining orders and police logs reveal that alcohol was a major part of the problem.
The fourth way we tame our temper is to

4. RELEASE Your Anger Appropriately

Ephesians 4:26 ESV
26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Anger is ok, don’t sin. In this I would suggest your take two steps in dealing with anger.
First, admit the anger. The fact that you feel angry is not a sin. God is an angry God. The problem is that we often release our anger in sinful ways.
So the second step after admitting anger is to ask yourself, “What can I do with my anger that is not sin?”
Sometimes the answer is clear. Other times we don’t know what to do. So let me help you with this. If you don’t know what to do, ask yourself, “What is it that before God I should not do?” The answer to that question will narrow your choices.
Research has shown that aggression produces more aggression. When we respond in anger toward someone, then they often respond back in anger. How do you break the anger train in your home or business?
Proverbs 15:1 ESV
1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
A soft answer breaks the cycle. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it can put brakes on the downward spiral.
What is the best way to deal with anger?
Don’t suppress it.
Don’t repress it.
Don’t express it.
Confess it.
The fifth way we tame our temper is to

5. RE-PATTERN Your Mind

Romans 12:2 ESV
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
This verse tells us that we are to reject the advice of worldly sinful people. We are to discover what God says and let God change our mind. If you are a Christian, God wants you to think differently. The whole Christian life is a life of mental change.
So we start doing what the Bible says.
Proverbs 22:24–25 ESV
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, 25 lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
These verses cause us to think different. Certain people will influence us away from God. If you have someone in your life that you are so close to that they influence you in a bad way more than you influence them in a good way, you may need to break that friendship for your spiritual health.
The sixth way we tame the temper is to

6. RELY On God’s Help

Romans 15:5 ESV
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
Notice who is there to give us encouragement and help us to endure. Notice who is there to help us live in harmony and in one accord.
God is there. Jesus is there. When we do what we do because we trust God and we obey his word, God gives us the strength to do what we need to do.
One of my favorite verses is found in
Philippians 2:13 ESV
13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
I believe that God is doing three things in your life and in mine during these 40 days of love.
First, I believe that God is working in your life.
I may not see it, but I accept that this is what God is doing in every Christians life.
Second, God is working to make you willing to do his will.
This is the battle ground. Some of you may be fighting God on this. This idea of love is an idea that you are resisting. You have folded your hands, sat back and said, “Not for me.”
If you are a Christian, you are in a real battle because God is working in you to make you willing to do his will.
Third, God is working in you to help you do what he wants you to do.
You want to do what he wants you to do, but you don’t know how. You may lack the strength to follow through. The first battle is won. You want to do the will of God. Now God is working to enable you to do what he wants you to do.
It’s God work. What he asks us to do is to stop fighting and say to God, “I surrender. I want to do your will. I will take the first step that you show me and walk by faith.”
God today is working in you. He wants you to be willing to tame your temper. If you are willing, he is working to help you change the way you express your anger. Read the book. Pray. Take your notes on this message. Respond as God wants you to respond.
The people I know who have this mindset, even though they may be struggling, are people that God is using to love and bless others for his glory.
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