Yesterday I brought a teaching at Celebration about what to do when you just wanna "let someone have it"! Since I announce my message titles on facebook for our Celebrators, I had some requests there for my teaching notes or a recording of the teaching and thought I'd post a condensed version of my notes here for anyone who would like them.
Ephesians 4:26 & 27 says, "Be angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place to the devil."
Anger is not sinful, if we handle it correctly. Jesus got angry, God gets angry, Paul got angry, and we could give a lot of other examples of Godly people who got or get angry. The key to being angry and not sinning is learning keys to godly anger management.
The Lord tells us to cast our cares upon Him for He cares for us, but how many of us really do that with all the things that have us so fed up we have envisioned revenge in our minds?
Things we need to be aware of:
1) An awareness of ourselves - Get real with yourself and with God. Are you carrying resentments? hurts? hatred? God already knows, but He's waiting for you to admit your true feelings.
2) An awareness of Jesus - just knowing He's there is incredibly liberating. Get an awareness of God in your everyday life. He's not just the God of your "devotions". He wants to be with you every moment, entering into every single space of your life. Welcome Him. Giving God all of your feelings brings rest for your weary soul. Make a choice not to take another breath without God, to not have a conversation without Him, not make a decision without Him. Stop doing things on your own. We try to live our lives without God -- some of us even try to have church without God. Frankly, God is sick of that. He's grieved when relegated to this little box we try to keep Him in. My husband always says, "Jesus doesn't want to be a PART of your life. He wants to BE your life."
3) An awareness of the time factor - life is too short and the plan of God for your life too precious to hold on to these feelings. Make the decision to deal with them before the sun goes down - TODAY!!! Realize, if you stuff it down, IT WILL NOT GO AWAY. Anger stuffed down turns into depression. Depression is not fun!!!
4) An awareness of where we are placing our energy - Ephesians 4 says "neither give place to the devil". Are you giving someone or something else more energy than you are the Lord? What about playing over and over again in your mind how mad you are at the person or what you will say to them if you get the chance or the courage? All of this is energy you could be giving to positive things. When rehearsing the wrongs and fantasizing about revenge you are giving the enemy place, and setting aside what God wants to do in and through you. Be aware of where you are spending time and energy!!!
5) Awareness of where our communication is directed - are you fantasizing about telling the person off, or are you actually taking opportunity to give them a piece of your mind? Is this a large focus of your day and time? Do you spend more time reading what this person writes on their facebook or Twitter than you do your Bible? That might be the first clue that this whole thing has become an idol to you and needs to be dethroned. Time to give it to the Lord and stop dreaming about how we can blast the other person. God can solve this a lot quicker than all your human efforts. Realize too, He is keeping the score. No one gets away with anything. When it comes to things like bitterness or anger, it takes a stronger, wiser person to let go than it does to hold on. God can handle your rants and ramblings, just direct it to the proper place. Don't give it to them, give it to Him! David was a man after his own heart and look at how he ranted and rambled. All that "stuff" that's swirling in your head about that person who is driving you crazy can be directed to Father God right now and He'll start healing your heart if you just pour your feelings out to Him and let Him sort them out and heal you, correct you, comfort you, etc.
6) Awareness of where the power is - some of you are facing what you consider to be impossible people and impossible situations. You see nothing but brick walls before you when certain names and faces come to mind. Realize God is God all by Himself and needs no help from you except for your decision to release all things to Him and praise and pray your way to an answer. Release the situation to Him, and trust Him to work.