• Matt Beaney

#609 (26/5/22) DEFUSE ANGER EACH DAY



‘Love…is not easily angered…’ (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Jordan Raynor, in his book, Redeeming Your Time, in a chapter entitled, ‘Noise limits our ability to be at peace’ wrote:

‘Three things happened in 2007. First, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, ushering in a future in which the lack of a smartphone is almost unheard of in the developed world. Second, Americans started a ten-year 59 percent decrease in productivity compared to the previous decade. And third, seemingly out of nowhere, anxiety and other mental health issues exploded around the globe, especially in teenagers. The timing of these three events is not a coincidence. The rising volume of the kingdom of noise is making us less productive and significantly more anxious.’

We can all feed our anger or defuse it each day. How we start our day is particularly important. If we start the day on our devices, looking at news, social media, messages… we will stoke the fires of unrest in our hearts. Alternatively, we can begin each day by springing all of our mouse traps! If we will be with God in His word and prayer, our hearts and minds will be prepared. Paul urges us:

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:4-7)

‘Rejoice in the Lord always’ - Rejoicing in the lord leads to gentleness rather than quick anger.

‘Do not be anxious about anything’ - Let's pray about everything that we are facing.

‘But In everything… pray’ - Bring everything to God: global issues, local issues, personal issues. Bring your worries and things that are angering you to your Father.

‘With thanks…’ - Thank God for His attentiveness and that He is listening and is responding to your prayers.

‘The peace of God’ - This is the promise for those who will rejoice in the Lord each day.


This is surely a better way to start the day! Why fan the flames of anxiety and anger when you can fill the heart the peace and joy by the Spirit?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians, looking at the next aspect of love.


Please read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


Last week we looked at how 'love is not rude or self-seeking'. This week, we are considering the next attribute of Christian love: 'Love…is not easily angered…’


There are innumerable things which tempt us to anger and I’m sure that you have your own list, here are a few examples:

  • The church community is not doing things as you think they should.

  • A neighbour whose behaviour is inconsiderate?

  • A member of the church who does that annoying thing?

  • A child who will not behave as you would like? They won’t listen to wisdom?

  • A colleague who is creating a bad atmosphere in the workplace?

  • Not being appreciated for what you do?

  • People not turning up for things that you’ve organised and you have made the time for.

  • You are left out of something - a party, baby shower, being a bridesmaid…

  • You don’t get the grade you think you deserve or the praise and bonus at a work review.

  • A car or a bicycle cuts in on you and you are outraged.

  • War and atrocities in the world - The war in Ukraine, I’m sure, makes us all angry.

  • Society promoting sinful ideas and practices that we see as harmful.


i. LOVE IS NOT EASILY ANGERED

‘Love’ (Agapé) is to give regardless of merit or demerit and is not dependent upon emotion. This cannot be expressed in uncontrolled outrage! In essence, Christian love is to treat people as God treats us. He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve and He sent His Son to save us.


ii. THERE IS UNGODLY AND GODLY ANGER

We see in the Bible that God does get angry. There is godly and ungodly anger. We can simply be angry about the wrong things. We can be angry about the right things. We can be angry about the right things but in the wrong way. God wants to teach us to deal with anger in the right way and allow it to be a force for good rather than destruction.


iii. GODLY ANGER IS SLOW ANGER

A rocket has the potential of going into space. However, if the energy is let out too quickly, it’s just a big bomb! It's right to be angry about the right things, but this is to be prayerfully and thoughtfully expressed. As James writes:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.’ (James 1:19-20)

iv. DEFUSE YOUR ANGER

Finally, it's really important, that we go into our day filled with God's peace rather than full of worry and anger. At the beginning of each day, may we do as Paul encourages us:


‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:4-7)

Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) This section on love is about the correct use of spiritual gifts; how will avoiding ungodly anger help us to have a church in which the gifts of the Spirit are used healthily?

iii) What lessons have you learned about dealing with anger?

iv) How can the encouragement from Philippians 4:4-7, help us to overcome ungodly anger?

SIV - What effect will the avoidance of quick anger have on our witness?

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.










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