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All the Rage

With all the new superhero movies coming out, it has become difficult to not have at least heard of some of the more popular heroes. Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk have rapidly become a part of pop culture. Each has something that makes them great, but they also have some major flaw. Thor’s is pride, Iron Man was an alcoholic, and the Hulk has a bit of an anger issue. The Hulk, with his enormous strength and seeming indestructibility, is unbelievable. Anger doesn’t really make us do that… does it?

The first man to discover the destructive power of anger was Cain. Cain and his brother, Abel, were the first two sons of Adam. When these sons grew up, Cain became a farmer and Abel became a shepherd.

Cain and Abel had been taught the right way to worship God. They knew that God required an offering of innocent animals as a sacrifice for their sins. But, when they came to worship God, only one brother was obedient to God.

Abel brought a lamb as his offering, but Cain brought fruit from his crops as his offering.

God accepted Abel and his offering, but He rejected Cain and his offering. As a result of this, Cain became very angry. He was angry at God and jealous of his brother.

God warned Cain of the consequences of his anger. God’s message to Cain was this: “Look out! Your anger is like a lion lying in wait outside your door. You must master your anger or it will master you.” But Cain did not respond to God’s warning. His jealousy of Abel turned into hatred.

One day, as Cain and Abel were in the field together, Cain rose up against his brother and murdered him. Thus the first man born into this world became a murderer because he did not control his anger.

Like Cain, we have the “lion” of anger within us. We must master it or it will master us. God has not said that we are never to be angry, but He has warned us of the danger of uncontrolled anger. The Bible says, “‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” (Ephesians 4:26)

Anger is the most violent of human emotions. Because it involves such strong feelings, anger borders closely on sin. The Bible does not say, “Be kind, but sin not,” or “Love, but do not sin,” because kindness and love are far removed from sin. But when we are angry, we are in danger of sinning. Someone has said, “If we are to be angry and sin not, we must be angry at nothing but sin.”

There are three things we can do with our anger:

1. We can express it.

When anger is out of control, it does great damage. When we become so angry that we want to lash out at someone and hurt them, we are sinning deeply. We call this “losing our temper.” Sometimes we think that we show how strong we are when we lose our temper, but losing our temper is a sign of weakness, not strength. The Bible says, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

2. We can suppress it.

To suppress anger is to keep it inside. Some people lose their temper and express their anger openly. Others have the same angry feelings but manage to keep them bottled up inside.

Anger that is bottled up or kept inside of us hurts and keeps on hurting. It turns to resentment and bitterness, and it can bring on depression as well as many kinds of physical illnesses.

3. We can confess it.

The best way to handle angry feelings is to tell God about them. This is a way to “let off steam” without sinning. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and we will always find Him to be understanding.

Just being in God’s presence helps to calm us. It also helps us to see things in their proper perspective. Many times we discover that the thing we were disturbed about was not really so important after all.

Temper is uncontrolled anger. It is always wrong. When we lose our temper, there is but one thing to do. We must confess it to God as sin and claim the cleansing blood of Christ. If we have offended or hurt others, we must, of course, apologize to them.

Regardless of how many times you lose your temper, you must make things right with others each time. This will humble you and help you to see the damage done by your temper.

It is best not to go to the other person while you are still upset, but after you have calmed down, go and make things right.

Even though we faithfully confess our sin to God every time we lose our temper, we still have a problem
Even though we faithfully confess our sin to God every time we lose our temper, we still have a problem. The problem is that we keep doing the same thing over and over again. We lose our temper, and we confess it. Then we lose our temper again and confess it again. We do the same thing over and over. No matter how hard we try, we continue to lose our temper.

Is there a remedy for this problem? Yes, there is! The first thing we must do is to discover what causes us to lose our temper.

The Bible does not say much about temper. The reason is that the Bible is concerned with the root cause of temper, not just with the temper itself.

What is the root cause of temper? It is SELF! Temper is produced by SELF. Whenever temper is expressed on the outside, we may be sure that there is an angry SELF on the inside. We may try hard to control our temper, but unless SELF is dealt with, we will continue to get angry and lose our temper.

Let us look at a few temper-producing situations so that we may see more clearly that SELF is the cause of temper.

· Someone puts us down.

Being “put down” or belittled by others is one of the most common causes of losing our temper. Someone says something unkind or hurtful about us, and we become angry on the inside. Our self-pride is injured. This is but one of the many forms of SELF.

· We cannot have our own way.

We are self-willed and determined to have our own way. When someone crosses us and we cannot have our way, we may sulk or pout, or flare up with anger. What is the root cause of this? It is SELF.

· Someone is honored above us.

We like to be looked up to and admired by others. For this reason we are jealous of others when they succeed. Jealousy often turns into anger when someone gets the job or honor that we wanted. Again, the root cause of these wrong feelings is SELF.

These are but a few temper producing situations, but they show us that the root cause of temper is SELF. We may not realize it, but the main reason for all our discontent is that we love ourselves and want to please ourselves. So long as we make ourselves the center of everything, we will react with anger when anyone crosses us.

To sum it up, temper comes from within us. It comes from SELF. Until the problem of SELF is dealt with, the problem of temper will not be solved.

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