Friday, March 28, 2008

WOMEN TAKING A STAND DEVOTION...March 30, 2008

THIS WEEK'S DEVOTION....

"BALL OF FURY"

Thank you for joining me for this weeks devotion. It is my prayer that your heart will be challenged and changed today as we meditate upon Gods Word!

"ANGER IS ACTUALLY A GIFT...A TOOL GIVEN TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS BUT TOO OFTEN IT IS MISUSED AS A DEVICE OF HARM." - Dr. Les Carter

Not all anger is bad. Anger in itself is not sinful. It is what we often do when we are angry that is sinful. Consider the tool as we all know as a hammer. In the hands of a carpenter, a hammer is a tool of construction, but in the hands of a maniac that same hammer is a lethal weapon! Anger is like that hammer...it cannot manifest by itself until we allow it to build us or break us.

What is anger? defined as a feeling of extreme displeasure, hostility, indignation or exasperation toward someone or something. This past week, in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the question, "Which describes you when someone is angry with you..." The top three responses in that poll were:

1. 38% of voters said they are much like a BOOMERANG, shooting anger right back

2. 22% polled voted that they are like PISTONS, too much friction and they shut down

3. 16% voted that they reacted like a SANDCASTLE, their anger flattens them like a wave

Regardless of how you express your anger, it is the result of the anger that can be destructive! There are great people that can do great things but the result of their anger causes great damage. For example: Bobby Knight, a winning college basketball coach was a dynamic coach but his violent outbursts during games and in the media spotlight cost him a job and it caused damage to his character as well. Another example: Alexander the Great! A great conqueror in history; he could conquer nations but he was unable to control his anger. On one occasion, his impulsive rage led him to kill one of his generals.

ANGER NOT ONLY HURTS OURSELVES, IT HURTS OTHERS AND IT GRIEFS GOD

EPHESIANS 4:25-32

"Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. (26) In your anger do not sin - Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (28) He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. (29) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (31) Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (32) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

We need to recognize that anger in itself is not sinful, but that our anger has an underlying thought or feeling that rises to anger. Think of the last time you were angry...what was the feeling of anger caused by? Was it a feeling of being hurt? Or rejected? Were you being manipulated? Or ignored? Perhaps you were taken advantage of or an expectation was not met. Was your character being questioned? Were you attacked either physically or verbally? Did you feel like your efforts were unappreciated? Were you made fun of?

Now, we see that anger is triggered by something. In order to better manage our anger, lets consider what are healthy and unhealthy ways to do that:

1. UNHEALTHY EXPRESSIONS OF ANGER

  • INTERNALIZED ANGER, this is anger that is never expressed.

A common statement of someone who is internally angry is, "I'm not angry, just frustrated." or "I'm not mad, just disappointed."

A person who has displaced anger has a potential for a delayed explosion. It is here that the potential for resentment, bitterness and hatred will reside. A person with internalized anger may want to "keep score" to the one they are angry at. A wife may explode at her husband, "That is the third time you have done that this week and I am tired of it!" Guess what...it wasn't the third time that got her angry; she was bothered the first two times but she oppressed it.

  • EXPLOSIVE ANGER, is uncontrolled fury which can be manifested in verbal and/or physical abuse

Explosive anger damages self-esteem, trust and can destroy relationships. Exploders anger is usually vented by screaming, cursing, condemning, name-calling, sarcasm, humilition, criticism or threats. Exploders many times blame their victims for their anger and often times they will minimize their outbursts by saying, "I'm just blowing off steam" or "I'm just getting something off of my chest".

PROVERBS 29:11 "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."

2. HEALTHY EXPRESSION OF ANGER

  • ASSERTIVE ANGER, productive or constructive anger

Assertive anger has a goal of solving problems and restoring relationships. "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry" (Eph. 4:26) Paul is talking about keeping short accounts! He is telling us to deal with our anger and crisis PROMPTLY and EFFECTIVELY. If anger were like a fire, Paul would be saying "drown it with water", because to leave it burning is like inviting it to spread and do more damage.

EPHESIANS 4:27 "Do not give the devil a foothold"

Assertive anger is not saying we, as Christians, will not become angry or have anger spewed out onto us. Allow God to help you to break free from the grip of anger and the destruction that comes along with it...bitterness, criticism, hurt, name-calling, etc. You do not have to stay mad, in fact learning how to let God change your heart will give you the power to love others more and then you will be able to handle difficult situations with courtesy and with wisdom, and not with such a ball of fury!

Be blessed today as you meditate on God's Word,


Love, Laurie




To help you be an overcomer in this area of anger...meditate upon these scriptures:

PROVERBS 14:17 "A quick tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated."

PROVERBS 16:32 "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city."

PROVERBS 20:3 "It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel."

PROVERBS 29:11 "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."

1 CORINTHIANS 13,4&5 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

EPHESIANS 4:26&27 "In your anger do not sin: do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

EPHESIANS 4:31&32 "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you."

COLOSSIANS 3:8 "But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips."

JAMES 1:19&20 "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."

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YOUR OPINION MATTERS:

Please vote in this weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL. The question is "What would you miss the most if you were required to relocate to another city?" YOUR OPINION REALLY DOES MATTER!

THIS WEEK'S QUOTE TO REMEMBER:

JIM ELIOT - " Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."

THIS WEEK'S SCRIPTURE TO REMEMBER:

PSALM 91:2 " I will say to the Lord, 'You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."













6 comments:

Cheri said...

What a great post on anger...we all know I need that!! :)

Thanks for all the good tips.

Laura said...

The poll for the week made me giggle...I thought, "I can identify with that!" Can't wait to see your devotion on it. I love where we are and look forward to wherever else it is the Lord will send us in a few years. He has so much for us to learn wherever we are planted!
Have a great week!
Laura

Anonymous said...

This is awesome!!! I am going through something now where a lot of anger is involved. I have let mine go but what if someone stays angry at you; especially if all involved are christians?

This has really ministered to my soul and has made me feel 100% better about my part in my situation.

Laurie Adams said...

Cheri,
thank you for all of the great comments. You really encourage me!

love Laurie

Laurie Adams said...

Laura,
I can't wait to share the notes on overcoming CHANGE this weekend. I have been working on it already this week and a recurring thought keeps coming up...that no matter what change we go thru...God is in control. Awesome huh?

Thanks for you all of your prayers.
Love Laurie

Laurie Adams said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for your comment. I am glad that you found my page, anger is something that we ALL experience, the great thing about being a child of God is that He wants more for us than just alot of rage and fury. Thank goodness for His changing power. Stop by again.
- Laurie