21 "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering . 25 "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 "Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent. Matthew 5:21-26 (NASB95)
I just want to talk about the first part of this.....especially with MEN and ANGER. Ladies deal with it too, but I don't think as much as men do. (opinion of mine of course)
This passage says that Punishment is due: ANGER leads to this punishment!!
ANGER….AFFECTS YOUR JUDGMENT
Aristotle wrote: (384–322 bce), “are all those feelings that so change men as to affect their judgements, and that are also attended by pain or pleasure. Such are anger, pity, fear and the like, with their opposites.”
ANGER….YOU CANNOT CONTROL YOUR REACTIONS
Psychologists say that the goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can't get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.
ANGER….leads to a LOSS OF CONTROL
Dr. Tom Stevens, psychologist from Cal Sate Univ./Long Beach has done extensive research in this area: Underlying anger is caused by a perceived loss of control over factors affecting important values. The values in the above examples might be pride, getting someplace on time, someone you love, money, or being treated "fairly"--we are frustrated about not getting what we want or expect. With anger, we usually think we know what caused the problem. We have some target(s) for our anger. It may be the person criticizing you, the person who cut you off on the freeway, an attacker, your boss, or even yourself. With anger, we may hope that a burst of energy aimed at the threat will defeat it. Or we may hope that a burst of energy will break the barrier stopping us from meeting our goal. For most situations anger clouds our judgment and creates extra stress. If anger prompts aggressive behavior toward other people, it can permanently harm relationships--especially with those we love. Prolonged or frequent resentment (mild anger) has been shown to be a significant cause of cardiovascular problems and heart attacks.
PROBLEM: The main problem WE HAVE IS FOCUS
The problem we have is “focus”: there are things around that can make you angry, but if you are focused on following Christ, instead of being a big ball of emotion and letting your selfish feelings control you, then where are you. (Last week’s verse: whether you eat or drink, do all for the glory of God) That is our problem today with people who SAY they are believers. We believe in Christ, but we don’t want to follow His will. Some of you are still living in the sinful nature you had before you came to know Jesus, you haven’t surrendered. If you blew up at anything before you knew Christ, (or physically or emotionally harmed someone), today because of Christ you are a loving peacemaker because that is his will: kind and compassionate disciples is who Jesus is leading. But if your sinful attitudes and behavior have not changed or at a moments notice you can easily dive right back to the sin, you have crossed a line in the sand my friends and you are not following the Lord, you are following your selfish desires and THAT IS NOT THE BEHAVIOR OF A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST.
Where are you today with this? How has ANGER destroyed your life and how has it messed up your walk with the Lord?