Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool. Ecclesiastes 7:9(NLT)
We are going to take a look at what has been referred to for many centuries as The Seven Deadly Sins. We begin with one of the most common – anger.
We encounter so much anger in everyday life that most of us have become somewhat desensitized to it. Everywhere you go, and in every realm of existence there is anger – some is miniature in its impact, some wildly excessive. And some of it is our own!
· It is a fact of life in business places and schools.
· The media – TV, Internet, Cell Phones – all filled with anger.
· Wherever you find yourself you cannot miss the road rage of the highways, lines at stores, and even in churches, families and close relationships.
Anger is “number 6” on the list commonly known as the Seven Deadly Sins (lust, envy, gluttony, sloth, greed, anger and pride). Our question today is
Why Is There So Much Anger?
In order to begin to talk about why there is so much anger you have to address the question’s forerunner – where did anger begin?
A number of years ago I watched a History Channel presentation called “The Seven Deadly Sins”. The episode on anger gave God credit, starting in Genesis 6 where God’s wrath (anger) destroyed all the earth. But the very first reference to anger in Scripture predates the flood; it’s in Genesis 4, where God asked Cain why he was so angry.
When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Genesis 4:3-7
Cain responded to God’s questioning by acting out his anger; he killed his brother! We have been angry and killing each other in various ways ever since. There are so many references to angry persons in Scripture that I stopped counting after 100.
One side-road about anger in the Bible: There is a difference between the anger (wrath) of God and human anger. God’s anger is always righteous; man’s is not. There is a different quality to God’s anger than just being ticked-off.
Anger can be quick in the hot-tempered or short-fused personality. But it can also be slow and deeply-formed. However it happens there is always the danger of having it master you. But God says to master it, subdue and keep it at bay like a rodeo cowboy lassoing an angry bull.
God’s instructions at this point may help us understand that our anger is inevitable, it will happen. But that is all the more reason to examine our attitude often to see if this sin is creeping up on us.
You do not know if anger will present itself today. All the more reason to be on guard. They are not called deadly sins for no reason at all! And the person who doesn’t learn to master this one will wind up a fool.
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