Testimony of Richard D'Andrea Dover
Sermon Outline

I. Is Anger Always Sinful?

Premise-If God gets angry, then anger itself is not sin

Does God get angry?

Exodus 4:14
Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses, and He said, "Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently."

Ezekiel 20:21
"But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness."

Mark 3:5
"And after looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored."

It is obvious from scripture that God does get angry. So anger in itself is not sinful. It is how we handle our anger. There is such a thing as righteous anger.

II. Righteous Anger

Exodus 34:6
"Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;"

Numbers 14:18
'The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.'"

When God is angry, he is slow to respond in anger. And His anger is balanced with his love. Before we are too quick to justify our anger, let's look at examples of righteous and unrighteous anger exhibited by man.

III. Example of righteous and unrighteous anger

1 Samuel 20:34
"Then Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, for he was grieved over David because his father had dishonored him."

1 Samuel 20:30
"Then Saul's anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother's nakedness?"

Jonathan's anger was for the sake of someone else (it was not selfish). Saul's anger was based upon pride and self-centered.

IV. Warnings Against Anger

Galatians 5:20
"idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,"

Ephes. 4:26
"Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,"

Ephes. 4:31
"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."

Ephes. 6:4
"And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

Col. 3:8
"But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth."

James 1:19-20
"This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God."

It is very clear from scripture that anger is a very dangerous emotion that is grouped with sinful actions. It should become obvious to us that most of the time anger exhibited by mankind is usually sinful.

V. Reasons For Anger
Low self-esteem
Childhood experiences
Poor health habits
Social injustice
Fear and worry

There are many reasons for us having anger. Again, anger in itself is not sinful. In fact it may be justifiable at times. However we are never justified to exhibit anger in a way that is selfish or directed at others in an unfair or unrighteous way. Also, we will see there are many myths that perpetuate anger.

VI. Myths That Perpetuate Anger

Unreasonable expectations of others
Feeling controlled by others
False understanding of God
No one understands
I don't deserve to be happy
There is no hope

We need to realize that many times our anger is not justified. We have bought into myths that perpetuate anger.

VII. Ways of Acting Out Anger

    1. Withdrawal/Isolation-no communication
    2. Yelling/Shouting-name calling
    3. Threats
    4. Shoving/Slapping/Punching
    5. Violence

All of the above representations of anger are wrong. Withdrawal is just as destructive to a relationship as violence. Ask someone who has experienced ongoing isolation from their spouse.

VIII. Disguises of Anger

    1. Grudges
    2. Insults
    3. Bitterness
    4. Tension
    5. Criticism
    6. Silence
    7. Depression
    8. Gossip

Ultimately every form of unrighteous anger is used to be ‘in control’ of the situation. It is an issue of control and manipulation-‘to get our way’. It is the abuse of another. Reality is that we are out of control.

VIX. Verbal, emotional, or spiritual abuse

Example of verbal abuse- ‘shooting around a person’:

Have someone stand against a wall. Start shooting a gun all around them. Ask if they feel ok because none of the bullets have not hit them. The reality is that they would be 'scared as hell'.

Damage to victim-The wounds of physical abuse are more obvious, but the scars of verbal, emotional, or spiritual abuse are much deeper. Wounds can heal, but most of the time there are scars forever.

We want to make it clear that harmful anger is more than physical violence. The church (Body of Christ) has for too long excused and closed its eyes to verbal, emotional, and spiritual abuse. As a matter of fact it has also ignored physical violence in the home. At times it has even encouraged violence and verbal abuse in the home by an incorrect understanding of submission.

X. Destructiveness of Anger

    1. Loss of job
    2. Loss of respect from others
    3. Destruction of marriage, family (separation between parent and child)
    4. Depression
    5. Jail
    6. Suicide
    7. Poor witness
    8. Generational

How much more evidence does the church need to have to take anger serious? Unrighteous (most anger) is must be dealt with like any other sin. Of course, the reality is the Body of Christ overall has not dealt with 'sin in the camp' very well. It needs to understand the destructiveness of sin especially addictive sin. Yes, anger can be very addictive.

XI. Foolishness of Anger

Proverbs 14:29
"He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly."

Proverbs 22:24
"Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,"

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

Proverbs 29:22
"An angry man stirs up dissension,
and a hot-tempered one commits many sins."

Now that we have a very clear understanding of anger, what is the solution to the sin of anger?

XII. Victory Over Anger

A. Not easy, no quick fix.

    1. Must want to change-must see that there is no other option and be willing to do whatever it takes
    2. Once an angry person, always an angry person without the grace of God
    3. Need to change the way you think-most anger comes from irrational thinking.
    4. Learn to be assertive instead of aggressive or passive.
    5. Focus on your part, not the part of others when there is conflict
    6. Acknowledge that this is a lifelong process
    7. Need sorrow that leads to repentance, not sorrow just for the loss
    8. Need to be accountable to others
    9. Intervention by others
    10. Be willing to see the pain and damage to others, more so than your own pain
    11. Realize that it is easy to be deceived that it is not so bad

It takes work to have victory over anger. It does not happen overnight.

XIII. Anger Cycle

Handout Chart

    1. Anger Act-Out Cycle
    2. Anger Action Cycle

There are cycles to anger, just like other addictions.

We can either act out our anger or we can take positive action when we experience anger.
To take action means to analyze our feelings and thoughts and find appropriate ways to express them.

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