This Sunday, July 2nd, 2017, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message on our Timeless Ten series here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.
Timeless Ten: How to Manage Anger
“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13, NKJV)
This commandment is a great one to look at what a game changer Jesus was, because He uses this commandment to raise the bar.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill, for assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment,’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Matthew 5:18-22, NKJV)
The Old Covenant dealt with how men acted, but in this New Covenant, He is dealing with the heart. Also in the Old Covenant the emphasis was how man behaves, while in this New Covenant, He is emphasizing what man really believes. Jesus was getting to the root issues, not just fruit that results from the root. If you cut off the root, you have no fruit.
So, the root here is anger. The world is an angry place right now, and most people don’t have a clue as how to deal with their anger.
Unmanaged or uncontrolled anger ultimately leads to violence, and we have become unsensitized to violence like never before.
At its core, this commandment is teaching us the sanctity of human life from conception to the elderly. We look at how we can break this commandment physically, or literally, but we can break this commandment passively. We can break this commandment verbally.
Anger manifests in several ways, and here are a few:
- The maniac.
- The mute.
- The manipulator.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored, than anything on which it is poured,” – Seneca 50 AD.
The reality is, if you are really honest, you have been one or maybe all of these at some point in your life.
How do you manage your anger?
- Admit your anger issues. In order to stop defeating yourself, you must stop deceiving yourself. Open up and be honest
- Deal with anger immediately.
- Understand anger.
- Stop & think before you speak.
- Be being filled with the Holy Spirit.
You see, if you don’t talk it out, then you will take it out. You could take it out on yourself, on others, and on God. The issue is not “getting rid” of anger, so that you never get angry again, but how you express it in a non-destructive manner.
“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,” (Ephesians 4:26, NKJV).
You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist. Don’t let your anger turn into a grudge or bitterness. It takes more inner strength to forgive than to get revenge. Unmanaged anger makes us do odd things to get even with those you are angry with.
Understanding anger is usually covering a hurt, and under the hurt is an expectation, while under the expectation is a need. If you are giving a level ten response to a level two situation, you need to dig deeper to find out what needs to be healed.
Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. Learn to think before you speak, and when you think you blew it, admit it and move on. Anger never gives you what you want. It is actually quite the opposite.
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God,” (James 1:19–20, NKJV).
One of the fruit of the spirit is self control. God’s presence in your life brings self control.
Society says the law breaker is a criminal, but Jesus said every criminal act begins in the heart. Society tries to reform people, but Jesus can truly transform people.
The Father cares deeply how his kids relate to one another, and unmanaged anger affects our relationships deeply.
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift,” (Matthew 5:23–24, NKJV).
How are you doing with this commandment? Everyone has broken this commandment in one way or another.
Have you committed murder in your heart?
Have you committed murder with your words?
Is your anger, whether passive or aggressive, going unchecked?
You have a choice. God gives us the choice to receive His grace to change.
The good news for us is, God’s son Jesus was murdered, so that all murderers can go free. There is freedom from every form of anger.
Watch the full message here: