This is an unedited message script from seven years ago.  PArt of it I am sure was inspired by Andy Stanley’s book It Came From Within….

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.

          Is everything okay in your heart?          Are you mad at anybody?          Did anybody hurt your feelings today?

          Did anybody break a promise to you today?          Is there anything you need to tell me?

          Are you worried about anything?          Is there someone whose failure you secretly celebrate?

Those are the questions of one very wise father I know of  to his children at bedtime.  He is helping them guard or pay attention to their hearts as they close their day and begin the night with a prayer.  We tend to pay attention to or guard the externals or behaviors but God looks at our hearts.

At 16 years of age God anointed a shepherd boy named David, to be king of Israel.  David was physically small in comparison to others like his brothers.    1 Samuel 16:7  “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature… for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.  David is called “… a man after God’s own heart…” “…a heart like God’s…”That is the primary focus of God in your life and mine… the crucial issues of the heart.  Perhaps the key to understanding how David could have a heart like this is found in his prayer in

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart;  Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”

Today we look at a third “hurtful way” or heart blockage that God want us to get rid of or deal with in such a way that our hearts are free of it…emptied of it.  We have looked at guilt and saw how it affects us, jealousy and how it can poison us.  Remedies: Confession breaks the power of guilt and celebration of God the grip of jealousy. Today I want us to look at anger and how to break its power in your life.

 Anger is like Cancer.  If untreated it will destroy you from the inside out. Anger kills. But unlike Cancer, anger will also destroy or leave its marks on those around you…especially those closest to you.  James 1:19-20 NIV   “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.”

1)      Causes strife and broken relationships (Proverbs 29:22, 15:18)

2)      Causes you to say and do foolish and sinful things (Proverbs 14:17; 29:11,22; Psalm 37:8)

3)      Causes you to be a defeated person  (Proverbs 25:28)

4)      Causes violent and abusive behavior (Proverbs 30:30)

5)      Causes God to discipline you  (Matt. 5:22; Gal. 5:19-22)

6)       Causes shame based thinking others…your children. (Col. 3:8)

7)      Causes wounds in the hearts and souls of others (Matt 5:21,22; Col.3:21)

8)      Causes those closest to you to become angry people (Proverbs 22:24,25)

9)      Causes physical & chemical damage to the one with anger (Job 5:2)

10)  Causes you to be vulnerable to Satan’s schemes and power (Eph 4:26,27)

Anger is like Cancer.  If untreated it will destroy you from the inside out…and will be hurtful to those closest to you.  Some of you have actually heard the words “Cancer” in a doctor’s diagnosis.  When you heard that word applied to your life, I doubt that you spent time wondering “how” you got it.  Once you accepted the reality of its presence you wanted to know one thing and one thing only: How can I fix it? How can I get rid of it?  Can I get rid of it?  Listen! Unlike cancer there is a cure for anger that when applied God’s way gets rid of the hurtful anger 100% of the time. Guaranteed. Bible tells us how.

What are we to do with the anger that we find in our own hearts?

What is God’s view on it? And what is God’s way of dealing with it?

Ephesians 4:26-32 NIV

(26) “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, (27) and do not give the devil a foothold (opportunity/room)…/…(31) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling (yelling) and slander, along with every form of malice. (32) Be kind and compassionate (tender-hearted) to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

 There Are Three Essential Actions God Expects of Us When We Are Angry:

1.      Pay Attention To it.    2.  Deal With It Today.   3. Get Rid of It God’s Way.

1STPay Attention To The Anger In Your Heart.

“In your anger do not sin…”

 Why?  Because as we have seen, anger can become very destructive and very costly.

IT is usually hurtful both to the angry person, to others and to your relationships…. Every one of us has been there as both the one who is angry and does harm or the one receiving anger and is hurt by it…

“In your anger do not sin….

 The Command Assumes two realities:

          All Christians get angry and do so on a regular basis… (present tense & all inclusive)

          All Christians have an inclination to sin in their anger… and sinful is hurtful…

 Note: ANGER  = painting with a wide brush…

I.e. Verse 31 “…bitterness, rage and anger, brawling (yelling) and slander (abusive speech), along with every form of malice (spitefulness, despising, resentments, the slow burn inside –or- I don’t get mad, I get even).   “I never get angry…” Depression = anger turned inward .  Implode or explode… Physical: Inward= IBS, ulcers, digestive disorders, etc. from the juices of anger… chemicals in our system…

 That daddy’s questions to his young children should be our questions:

Is everything okay in your heart?  Are you mad at anyone?  Did someone hurt you or your feelings?

Is there someone whose failure you might secretly celebrate? Someone break a promise?

Do you feel you deserve something you are not getting from someone?

Anger = a warning light

In a perfect world it alerts godly people of an injustice that needs to be addressed.  In our personal worlds anger alerts us to the belief that we have been hurt, frustrated or otherwise deprived and we are in danger of pain and distress. It alerts us, and we may need to act; BUT  –anger – then needs to be handled God’s way or it will become very very hurtful…

Think of the last time you got angry…felt it rise up inside you. 

What triggered your anger?  How intense?  What else did you feel?  What did you tell yourself to justify it?  What did you do or say while you were angry?  How did you feel during your anger…afterwards?

 Show me angry person and I will show you a hurt person whose desires or expectations were not met.

Anger comes when we do not get what we want or think we deserve from someone else….

ANGER= “You owe me!” [respect, attention, help on the job, $, time, understanding, a listening ear, love, significance, freedom  , date, intimacy, words, apology…etc.]

 “…In your anger do not sin…” How did you or do you sin in your anger?

2ND:   Deal With Your Anger Today.

“…Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…”
 MYTH:  Good Christians resolve their conflicts before going to bed. (False)

               You can’t resolve all your conflicts before bed.  We should face them and address them in a timely manner, but resolving them before the sun goes down…. its not possible. Sometimes it would be very unwise.  The other person may not be ready nor may you be.

TRUTH: Obedient Christians deal with their own anger the same day or in a timely manner.

TRUTH: Obedient Christians make dealing with personal anger a priority over resolving personal conflict.

            1st deal with the anger in your heart and then you will be ready to address the conflict or cause.

GOD is not saying to resolve every conflict or issue immediately,

but to deal with your own anger expediently.

Here is the biblical basis for what I just said….

Psalm 4:4-5 (NIV)

Psalm of David (In distress— angry at certain people — in some danger à prays)

 “In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds,

    Search your hearts and be silent. Selah =(Stop or pause here and think about it)

     Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.”

Sound familiar…. Paul was quoting or restating scripture in contemporary terms.

1st line = exactly the same….

2nd line = instead of do not let the sun go down on your anger… David says:

“…when you are on your beds,

    Search your hearts and be silent. Selah =(Stop or pause here and think about it)

     Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.”

Search (examine, probe and take a close look at…pay attention to and deal with) your heart…

Be silent = be still (cease striving…stop fretting… rest/ relax and listen to God)

Selah =( pause here and think about it .. ..)

“Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.” make sure the next thing you do is the right thing. And it

is something you can and must do right where you are…in bed/ticked off…

 Deal with your anger or your heart blockage right now…right away… and do not justify or excuse it.

§  Don’t carry today’s anger into tomorrow.

§  Don’t carry yesterday’s anger into today.

§  Don’t carry the anger from one relationship into another relationship.

§  Don’t carry the anger from one season of your life into another season of your life.

The issue is not resolving a conflict but dealing with your heart blockage of anger and to do it now!!!!!

 Why, God?  Why is this so important?

Answer:  Verse 27: “…and do not give the devil a foothold …”

“foothold” = room, a place, or an opportunity… a hook into your life.

When you or I carry anger with you —even a day— you open the door of your heart to evil and give evil powers the opportunity to poison your heart; and as goes your heart so goes your life and relationships.

People who carry anger from the past wreak havoc wherever they go….

 Proverbs 29:11,22 (NIV)

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control…

An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.”

I know what its like to be the fool, hot-tempered, committing many sins due to anger…

I know what its like to be the wise man, keeping myself under control…

(Must learn about Anger, hurts & fears and let God heal you and take care of you)


1.      People become addicted to anger.

Here’s why and how.  “Full-blown anger increases neurochemicals like: adrenaline, endorphins and norepinophrine.  These make you feel big, strong, right, confident, assertive and UNAWARE of pain.  Anger is similar to cocaine…Anger is not only an emotional pain killer but and effective physical pain killer.  Your emotions, anger and overreactions are much greater than the circumstances would normally warrant.  You shame and blame others, pushing them away with an attitude of “I don’t need anyone.”  Walls of rejection isolate you as you fume and rage about your unmet needs.  The result is that you are pushing people away when you need them most.” Anger medicates your emotional pain. MD

Explode or Implode —ANGER medicates emotional pain.  We learn to self-medicate by using anger.  That is why people can and do become addicted to anger…(even provoking conflict) It is an addiction because we become addicted to the drug like effects upon our painful emotions and bodies.

 2.      Anger is often a response to fear of pain.

Often someone or some event triggers an intense anger inside us, but why?  Sometimes (not always) your brain or portion of your brain senses danger…fear of pain or being hurt.  WHY? Because the current event triggers and emotional memory inside of you from 30 years ago and your body has learned to respond in anger to avoid the pain of that earlier event.  What fears do you use anger to avoid?

When you were last angry what other feelings were there as well (just below the surface)?

3.      Angry people hurt people who then become angry and hurt people.

How do you express or experience anger?  However you do it does affect you and it will affect others.

Shamed people shame others… my overreactions out of hurt then anger result in hurting someone I love and repeating the cycle.  That’s just the way we are…No.  That’s who you have become because someone has carried yesterday’s anger into today….  You Break the cycle….

 3RD:    Get Rid of the Anger In Your Heart God’s Way.

(31) “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling (yelling) and slander,
along with every form of malice.
(32) Be kind and compassionate (tender-hearted) to one another,
 forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”…

Get rid of  =  make a clean sweep.  Don’t miss anything.  Don’t go ½ way.

                      ILL: Cancer — did they get it all?  Get rid of means just that…

What you would want a surgeon to do with cancer , God wants you to do with your anger (all of it).

Be Kind and compassionate (tenderhearted) = opposite of how angry people relate.  Yes, but how?

Key Point:

Genuine Forgiveness Breaks The Power Of Anger.

 “…forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

 Walk through the words God has Paul use….

forgiving …to forgive without any conditions attached and to do so as an undeserved gift.

forgive means to cancel the debt and to set free.

each other… the person who has hurt you. This is the one who owes you. Did not meet your expectations, did not give you what you wanted or felt you deserved…the one who may have betrayed and injured you and someone you care about…

just as … exactly as or in the exact same manner as (no new conditions on)

in Christ God forgave you.…

Did you deserve God’s forgiveness? NO!  Could you do anything at all to pay back the debt you owed God for your sin? NO!  Was it given freely and without strings or conditions? YES!

WHY? … in Christ… based on Jesus paying my debt of sin to Him and all my sins against other people.

 1.      IDENTIFY Who Has Hurt You. (Who are you angry at?)

Temptation is to be selective and stay in the present tense or avoid the one you want to stay angry at.

Truth:  Ask God to show you and include the other seasons of your life.

If your parents are not on the list, they should be.  All parents hurt kids in some way.

          (Unless you forgive your parents you will have a poisoned heart in all your future relationships.)


(Only God has the right to sit in the seat of judgement, so confess your judgements to Him and give the seat of judgement back to Him.  Your butt and mine weren’t meant to sit in that chair.)

3.  DECIDE What Each Took From You.  (What does each owe you?  On the books?)

     Most people say…Oh I have forgiven them… when they don’t even know how to forgive.

  • How did they wound you?  (write it down)
  • What do they owe you? (write it down)

 4.  CANCEL The Debt Owed To You.

            Cancel each debt owed very specifically and each based on the payment of Jesus Christ.

Release them and ask God to bless them…

 5.  RELATE To Them As Christ Would. (This is what you owe them as a follower of Christ)