DEfusing the Bomb
Sermon by: Pastor Harrison Chokka
Summarized by: Kelsey Bodnar
Have you ever felt uncontrollably angry at someone or something? Being angry can cause us to respond in hurtful ways, but how can a seemingly destructive emotion like anger be something from God?
We’re in the second part of the first series in our new building, Untangling Emotions. If you missed part 1, we highly recommend you go back and check it out. The thesis statement of this series is simple: We cannot be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. This week’s sermon goes through the emotion of anger and how we can diffuse the bomb that is anger.
We tend to think of anger as a bad thing, as the emotion opposite to love. But the opposite of love is apathy, a lack of caring about anything, not anger. In the bible, God is the most attributed to anger, and we see that much of His anger is rooted and amplified in His love and care for us. This emotion in and of itself isn’t a sin, but it can easily become one. Anger is an emotion that needs to be managed, not avoided. God wants to transform our hearts and help us engage the emotion of anger.
Can we be angry without sinning? Pastor Harrison separated anger at its best vs. anger at its worst.
Simply put, anger at its best seeks restoration, while anger at its worst seeks retribution. Our anger boils down to one of two things: We didn’t get what we wanted OR we didn’t get what we deserved.
It’s important to remember that anger will not go away without a response. It’s in how we respond that dictates our future. The #1 way we invite the devil into our lives is through anger. Our responses determine whether we are living in sin or not.
The response to our hurt is one thing only: We must forgive. Forgiveness is something challenging for all of us. I’m sure at one point or another we’ve had to forgive, even when we didn’t want to. But the reason we forgive is because Jesus forgave us first. We need to ask ourselves: Do I want to be right or do I want to be restored? If we want to be right, the anger will live in our hearts along with the devil. If we want to be restored, we’re telling ourselves “I don’t want to live like this any longer.” The cost of restoration seems high in the moment, but the reality is that retribution costs way more.
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