We all have to deal with ANGER!
Through God's power, we can move from our anger controlling us to controlling our anger.
Below are some notes and scripture based on a message from 9-11-11 on Retiring the ANGERY Beast.
You can listen by clicking on Box.net on the www.northshorefamily.org home page and select the date.
ANGER says, “YOU owe ME!” … 9/11 events fueled by anger!
Anger is like a shook up soda CAN ready to ^explode / ^implode
Unresolved anger ISSUES in your heart will work their way to the surface and explode.
What if we chose to deal with our anger and with God’s help and RETIRE the Angry monster.
Ever let anger GET the best of you?
If we drill deep, our piercing words and bad behaviors erupt because we feel that things have been TAKEN from us.
STORIES behind Anger… ^blown away from hurt on your row robbed me of my teenage years / stole my family / cheated my health / took my reputation / lived with broken promises… I FEEL ignored / abused / embarrassed / disrespected
The Bible reminds us that anger is a perfectly HEALTHY emotion as long as we don’t “miss the mark.”
Ephesians 4:26 & 27, "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a FOOTHOLD. [topos… a place / a moment / an opportunity when your guard was down]
Jesus ANSWERED how to retire the angry beasts ~ Parable in Matthew 18
BACKSTORY: As a disciple, Peter understood his responsibility to forgive, but wasn’t sure how far to take it… especially to a repeat offender. ? Where is the justice in a system where forgiveness is offered every time? Like us, Peter assumed forgiveness is for the benefit of the offender. Peter was catching on to Jesus… he suggested 7 times! Jesus answered, 70*7, then told parable…
Matthew 18:23-27 The master was going to settle the debt by selling the servant, his family, and their possessions. The servant begged for MERCY. The master decided to cancel the debt.
Forgiveness is the DECISION to cancel a debt.
Matthew 18:28-29 Now the forgiven servant is in the same POSITION as his master. The servant walked out saw a peer who owed him a few dollars and wanted immediate justice.
Matthew 18:30-35… vrs 32 Jesus DEFINITION of forgiveness = canceled debt.
… vrs 35 forgive your brothers from your heart.”
KING & MASTER =GOD
UNMERCIFUL SERVANT= any having debt canceled by God
FELLOW SERVANT=anybody we’re holding something against because of something they have taken or done
Deeper MEANING of the parable probably didn’t hit Peter until months later, when he found himself staring at Jesus hanging on a Roman cross. If this was the price of forgiveness, then who was he to withhold forgiveness from another?
GOD’S DECISION to forgive us required cancelling the debt and paying the price with the death of His son on the cross.
From our perspective, we have every right to hold out until we’re paid back.
Tragedy=most anger can’t be REPAID
Isn’t anger simply a REACTION to people and events? ^Not my fault: work late… teacher incompetent… crazy driver
How can you get rid of anger you have no control over?
- When anger is reacting to a situation, you have developed a COBRA mentality. ^cobras react
• Cobras always have an EXCUSE for why they strike… “I want to make sure the person who hurt me PAYS.”
Ephesians 4:31, “GET RID OF all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
- The Greek for “Get Rid Of” is “aI-Roe” ^SPIDER WEB off face… remove or separate yourself from every kind of deceit, hurtful words, & activity seeking opportunity to avenge
You don’t forgive BECAUSE the other person deserves it;
you forgive because You have been forgiven… apostle Paul’s wrote this after a year in Roman prison while thinking of Jesus on the cross (Acts 28:30-31)
Wouldn’t forgiveness would be letting the offender OFF the HOOK?
- Forgiveness does not forfeit JUSTICE… guarantees justice.
- 1 Peter 2:23-24, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he ENTRUSTED himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
- In the SHADOW of my hurt, forgiveness can feel like a decision to reward my enemy. BUT in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.
From GOD’S PERSPECTIVE, anger is possibly the most self-destructive thing we can have lodged in our heart.
Scripture never refers to forgiveness as a FEELING; it’s always described as a decision.
- ACT on FAITH to begin healing your feelings.
- Forgiveness is a way of life for the person with a CLEAN heart.
HOW CAN WE RETIRE THE ANGRY BEAST?
- IDENTIFY the ANGER
- Psalm 139:23-24
LIST people that have mistreated or taken advantage of you
Look back at the core… more than one SEASON
- Whom do you hope you never see again?
- Whom do you find yourself having imaginary conversations?
- Whom would you like to pay back if you could get away with it?
- Whom do you secretly desire to see fail?
GENERAL forgiveness does not heal specific hurts.
2. DETERMINE what’s OWED
- Not what the person who hurt you DID, but what exactly did they take?
- What would they need to RETURN in order to put things back they way they were? Apology / money / time / fam / reputation / opportunity / relationship
- What do they OWE you?
- What did they take from you?
3. CANCEL the DEBT
- There are irreplaceable things, but if we WAIT to be paid back for the wrongs done to us, we will be the ones who pay. If, on the other hand, we cancel the debts owed to us, we will be set FREE.
- Is it NECESSARY to tell the person you’ve forgiven them? While it is always right when someone approaches you to ask for forgiveness or apologize for an incident in the past, most other situations may actually NOT be healthy because the offender may not have had a heart change, so leave it in the hands of the Righteous Judge.
- TANGIBLE celebration… tear paper / sealed note / conversation in a spot
4. DISMISS the CASE
- DAILY decision not to reopen the case.
- When memories of past hurts return, RESTATE your decision!
- When MEMORIES of the past flood your mind, face them in God’s power = Expressing the emotion can help cleanse the heart, + but also focus that debt is canceled & not in your hands.
- Truly forgiving is not FORGETTING memories of the past. What you do with your memories determine their impact.
- Your story could be a “TESTIMONY” of God’s faithfulness
IMAGINE living your life free from the grip of anger… your relationship with God more intimate… stronger relationships with others in your family… and the peace of God that passes all understanding in your heart as you close your eyes at the end of the day.
Heavenly Father, you know what has been taken from me. It has wounded me… controlled me… and I have held on to this debt long enough! With Your help, I choose to cancel this debt. They don’t owe me anymore! Just as you forgave me, I forgive them. As I release my grip on this heart issue, I place my hope and trust in you. In Jesus Name