In our 40 Days of Love journey as a church we have focused heavily on 1 Corinthians 13 - "the love chapter" in the Bible. There, Paul gives a great definition of love. One of the characteristics of real love is that it is "not easily angered." Last Sunday we talked about anger and in the message I shared a couple of lists. We went through the material quickly and several people asked for a copy of the lists. Here they are:
When you remember the cost of uncontrolled anger you will be more motivated to manage it. You’re less likely to get angry if you realize that there’s always a price tag to anger. The Bible says, “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins” (Proverbs 29:22, NIV). How about these verses:
• Pr. 15:18 (GN) “Hot tempers cause arguments.”
• Pr. 14:29 (LB) “… anger causes mistakes.”
• Pr. 14:17 (GN) “People with hot tempers do foolish things.”
• Pr. 11:29 (LB) “The fool who provokes his family to anger and resentment will finally have nothing worthwhile left.”
What do you lose?...reputation, respect of others; your job; the love of your family; your health. When you say, “He’s such a pain in the…” and name your favorite anatomy part, it’s true. When I swallow my anger my stomach keeps score. Your body was not designed to handle anger. God didn’t mean for you to carry rage around inside of you. When you carry anger constantly in you, you get sick. There are all kinds of ailments people could get out of the hospital from if they weren’t carrying guilt, resentment, or anger. Remember the cost whenever you’re tempted to lose our temper.
Sometimes I hear people say something really mean or unkind to a kid or a husband or wife and you hear them say, “Oh, I don’t know what got into me. That’s not like me.”
Oh, yes it is. It’s exactly like you. Your mouth just reveals what’s in your heart. If it wasn’t in your heart it wouldn’t be coming out of your mouth. The problem is in your heart. If you’ve got bad water in a well, painting the pump isn’t going to do any good. You’ve still got bad water in the well. Your mouth just betrays what’s inside you.
• You find somebody with a harsh tongue, a cutting tongue, it reveals an angry heart.
• You find somebody with a negative tongue, you know they’ve got a fearful heart.
• You find somebody with a boasting tongue, you know they’ve got an insecure heart.
• You find somebody with a judgmental tongue, they’re always judging everybody, you know they’ve got a guilty heart.
• You find somebody with a critical tongue, they’re always nagging and being critical, they’ve got a bitter heart.
• You find somebody with a filthy tongue, you know they’ve got an impure heart.
On the other hand, if you find somebody who’s always encouraging…they have a happy heart. You know what’s on the inside of them. If they’re always speaking in a gentle way you know they’ve got a loving heart. If they’re always being loving and controlled in their words you know they’ve got a peaceful heart.
What we need is a heart transplant. You need a new heart. David says this in Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10, NLT). That’s what you need to say today: God I need a clean heart.