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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Anger Management - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Anger Management - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Anger Management - Part 1
TOPICS: Anger, Emotions, Self-Control
Joyce Meyer - Anger Management - Part 1

Anger Management. Well, I know you all look so sweet, I can't imagine that any of you have a problem with anger, but I sure did for a long time. And I think that many times, we don't even know what we're angry about, or what we think we're angry about is not even really what we're angry about. And so, for the next two sessions, we're gonna try to take this thing apart and get to the bottom of what's going on, find out what the roots of the bad fruit is, and let God help us get 'em out, amen? Some people are angry and don't even know that's what's wrong with 'em. I mean, I heard a story just last week. You may be familiar with mercy ministries, and we're a supporter of theirs and we built a home in st. Louis, and so I went to their 10-year anniversary. And there was a girl there giving a testimony, and she said, "My father committed suicide when I was a teenager, and I just never could seem to get myself straightened out after that". And she said, "I started drinking, started taking a lot of drugs. My life was just in a total mess".

She was just falling apart, so she got into the mercy ministries home to try to get some help, and one of the first things that she started finding out while she was there is that her problems started at the time her father committed suicide, and she never realized this, but she was angry at him because he did that and left the family. And so, she could not get well, she couldn't stop drinking, she couldn't stop taking drugs, until she got over being angry. And I think there's a lot of people that have substance abuse problems, all kinds of different problems, and really the root of the problem is that somewhere way down deep inside, they're angry at God because their life hasn't turned out right, they're angry at somebody else who hurt them or disappointed them, or they may even be angry at themselves for something they did or didn't do.

I'm gonna tell you a little bit about my family tonight and my mom in particular. She ended up with a lifetime of mental illness, and I know it was rooted in anger that she had toward herself and guilt that she felt because she did not do anything about what my father was doing to me. She was afraid of him, she let him do it, her excuse was fear. But you know what? Even when we make excuses that sound good, if we know we should be doing something and we're not doing it, we're gonna end up feeling guilty that we didn't do it at a certain time.

How many of you are with me and you understand what I'm saying tonight? So, this is gonna be like a little free lesson in psychology tonight. Tonight, you're gonna be on Joyce's couch and we're gonna get a little free hour of counseling here. Anger is one letter away from danger. All you gotta do is add a d onto the front of it, which we could say represents the devil, and "Anger" becomes "Danger". Anger is the condition where the tongue works faster than the mind. Benjamin Franklin said, "Whatever's begun in anger ends in shame". He also said, "Anger is never without a reason, but it seldom has a good one". A lady once came to Billy Sunday and tried to rationalize her angry outbursts. "There's nothing wrong with losing my temper," she said. "I blow up and then it's just all over". He said, "So does a shotgun, and look at the damage it leaves behind". Which I thought was pretty good.

When Abraham Lincoln had to write a letter to someone who had irritated him, he would often write two letters. The first letter was deliberately insulting. Then, having gotten those feelings out of his system, he would tear it up and write a second letter, one that was tactful, and discrete, and godly. And I thought about that, and I thought, "You know what? If you read the Psalms, you'll see that David, he vented his feelings". He was very honest with God about how he felt if he was angry, if he was hurting, if he was confused, if he felt like God had left him, if he didn't understand what was going on. He didn't hold back his feelings. He expressed those feelings, but to the right person. And I think that many people, if they would really talk things out with God, they would get rid of them and they wouldn't be a problem for them the rest of their life. And so, we wanna look at just a whole lot of different things, and I hope it becomes helpful to you and it's something that you enjoy.

Anger statistics. One out of five Americans has an anger management problem. Enrollment in anger management courses, court-ordered or voluntary, is booming. Absolutely booming. Road rage has surged over the last few years. Nationwide, a demand for anger management counselors is at an all-time high. Tonight, I get to be an anger management counselor. Isn't that good? Actually, the Holy Ghost is our anger management counselor, and you don't have to go, I mean, you can if you wanna spend your money. I'm not putting it down, but you don't have to go to somebody to tell you how to handle your anger. It's all very clear, right here in the book. And the good thing about going to God is he'll give you the help that you need to actually pull it off and do it. Go somewhere else, you might just get instructions, but no help. God wants to help you. So, there's not enough anger management counselors to cover all the people who want to get into these classes. "Newsweek" said these people are coming out in droves asking for help.

Now, you know, there's a lot of reason for all this anger, and we're gonna discuss it a lot over the weekend. One of the reasons why people are angry today is just all the stress that they're under. How many of you feel like you've got a lot more stress in your life than what you can deal with? If you don't like your life and you don't like your schedule, you made it and you're the only one that can change it. See, you're not happy about that. Help me, Jesus. You see, in order to be free from anything, we have to face truth. And blaming and making excuses never helps us change anything. So, let me say to you what God said to me. If you don't like your schedule, you made it, you're the one that can change it. See, we think that all these things are forced on us, and then we get mad at all these people that we think are forcing us to do all these things, and really the truth is nothing is stopping us from saying no.

Now, just already I've said enough to change your life if that's what you need. Well, what keeps us from saying no? We don't want people to be mad at us. And you know what? People that you have to let control you to keep their friendship is somebody that you're gonna lose and they're gonna disappoint you eventually anyway. I like this. In discussing anger, Dallas Willard, who's a very godly Philosophy and professor, offers a telling definition. He says that anger is a feeling that seizes us in our body. How many of you can feel it when it gets ahold of you? You know, I always say it starts down here somewhere you gotta get it before it gets to your mouth. It's a feeling that seizes us in our body and immediately impels us toward interfering with and possibly even harming those who have thwarted our will and interfered with our life. Now, listen to this. Anger, Willard notes, is frequently used to make other people around us change their course of action. In so doing, it controls their will, which only results in anger on their part.

So, my anger feeds off your anger, and here we go 'round and around, and there's never an end to it. Amen. All right. There's nothing better than peace, you know that? Actually, peace equals power in your life. If you wanna have power in your life, if you wanna have more energy in your life, you can't be angry. And you know, how many of you've had ample opportunities in the last 7 days to be angry? Me too! Me too. I'll tell you what, Dave has a paper towel thing. First of all, he's just fallen in love with paper towels. He wants to dry the dishes with paper towels. I mean, everything is a paper towel. But sometimes, he likes to, like, he'll spread 'em out on the counter and say he's gonna use 'em again in a minute. Well, I don't like... Now, they're not dirty, they're just maybe damp, or if he pulls off one too many, you know, he's very thrifty, so he doesn't wanna waste it, so he'll spread it out on the counter.

Well, I don't like stuff spread out on the counter, so I go along, pick 'em up, and throw 'em in the trash can. And so it's become, he said, "If you put anything down around here, you're gonna lose it in about 2 seconds, that's for sure". So, the other night he was ready to go up to his office. He's got a little space up there where he watches his sports at night and I do my thing. And you know, the older you get, the happier you are to give each other space. I don't know, you guys are liking that a little too much. You know, when you're first married, you know, you just wanna be with each other every second. Well, you more than likely will get over that. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

So anyway, he's getting ready to go up to his office, and he's got these paper towels laid out on the counter. And I'm like, "Why do you have those laid out"? He said, "I've got 'em there for when I come downstairs". I said, "Now, wait a minute". 'Cause I want my counters neat, so I said, "Why do you have your paper towel laying out on the counter for when you come downstairs at bedtime? Why can't you take it off the roll then"? He said, "Because I want it there". I said, "I don't want it there". He said, "I want it there". I said, "Why do you want it there"? He went over to it, he folded it up, he said, "That's all right. I'm taking it upstairs with me". He said, "I didn't expect to get an inquisition over a paper towel". But the point is is 25 years ago, I would've gotten so mad.

Now, how many of you get mad over stupid stuff? Okay, maybe you're not the kind of person that's gonna have road rage. Maybe there's somebody watching by TV that might be that kind of person, but I'm gonna assume that that's none of you since you're here together for church tonight. But you may still be a little guilty of getting angry over what the Bible calls trifling, uninformed, unedifying, stupid controversies over ignorant questions. And if you don't think that's in the Bible, it's 2 Timothy 2:23. When I think, and I want you think serious with me. When I think about how many days and years of my life I wasted being angry about things that really didn't even matter, trying to control people that I was never gonna be able to control. Can I tell you that trying to run the universe is hard work? I mean, it just will flat wear you out.

Anger, the Greek Vine's Dictionary says, "Anger is the strongest of all passions". It is indignation, vengeance, and wrath. Anger begins with a feeling and can, doesn't have to, but can progress to expression in words or actions. And I was not kidding when I said you can feel anger and upset. It starts somewhere down in here in the realm of the depths of our soul, and you actually can feel it getting bigger, and rising, and rising. And I was not joking when I said you need to do something about it before it gets to your mouth. Because once we start to add words to it, then it gets worse, and worse, and worse. And then we've usually got words coming back at us, now we're in this real heated exchange, and that's when sometimes people can do things and say things that they really with all their heart wish that later they would not have said and done. Amen?

So, I said it can progress to expression in words or actions, but I also want to quickly add it doesn't have to. You know why? Because we don't have to follow every feeling that we have. Amen? All anger does not have the same characteristics. One type is characterized by quickly blazing up and subsiding just as quickly. You're in a grocery store, somebody bumps into you with their grocery cart, you're like... You get control of yourself, you realize it was an accident, that's over very quick. Another type is a more settled, abiding condition of the mind, frequently with a view to revenge. Now, this is the type that can take root in you or me because we think about over, and over, and over, and over, and over, what somebody has done to us. And you know, the more we think about something, the more out of proportion it can become, 'til suddenly this thing that really didn't have to be that big of a deal becomes this big, huge mountain in our life and can become a controlling factor in our life.

I'll tell you what I've decided and it's working pretty well for me. I don't have enough years of my life left to waste one more of them angry. Maybe when you're in your 20s you feel like you've got a lot of time to waste being mad, but by the time you get to where I'm at, and we won't talk about it tonight. By the time you get there, you don't feel like you've got any time left to waste. So, I'm gonna ask you tonight to deal with this emotion of anger. Let God help you deal with the emotion of anger, not only to get rid of any repressed anger that you have left over from old things that have happened to you, but learning that we live in a society that is violent and angry, and we're in the world and not of it, and we need to be an example to other people, not out there acting just like they do.

Do not put a Christian bumper sticker on your car if you are not gonna act like a Christian while you're driving. Amen? And then, there's a type of anger that is provoked to take action. In other words, the angry person verbally or physically acts out the anger. Anger can manifest in yelling, hitting, damaging, throwing things, bringing harm to the focus of the anger, criticizing, withdrawing. That was one of my favorite ones. If I was angry... I'm not coming in the room with you. I'd rather go out the front door, walk around the house, and come in the back door to get to the kitchen than to walk through the room where you're at. Amen? If I'm angry with you, don't touch me in the bed. I will sleep on the seam of the mattress rather than touch you. I will not ask you to do anything for me.

Well, let me ask you a question. Who are we hurting? He had the cover, and I stayed cold all night. He had the TV and I was off in another room pouting, sitting in the bathroom floor crying. It's really downright foolish when you get right down to it. And you know, some of this is humorous, but I really want you to take it very seriously tonight, because I'm telling you, anger is doing so much damage to people's lives and so much damage to their health. I'm sure if we had the time, which I don't, I could ask dr. Paul to come up here and tell you what anger does to your health, and he could tell you that it's not healthy to be angry. There's no telling how much energy it takes to have one good fit and try to get over it.

Do you know what fits are here in Houston? Sometimes anger results in ridiculing or humiliating another person, teasing in a manner of putting them down. And you know, a lot of times we're actually angry at somebody, we've got some kind of a deep-rooted resentment, and so we do what the Bible calls coarse jesting, where we're saying negative, unkind, insulting things, but acting like we're kidding. Come on. Mm-hmm. Oh, I was only kidding. I was only kidding. Well, out of the heart, the mouth speaks. Amen? This type of behavior can also be seen toward oneself. You can be angry with yourself and you can say downgrading things about yourself. We played golf with a man one time, and I remember every single time he would make a mistake, hit the ball bad, miss the ball, miss the putt, he would say, "Stupid. I'm so stupid. That's just stupid".

Well, see, he was doing that because he was angry at himself. He was embarrassed because he didn't perform good and he was angry at himself. I tell people this all over the world and I'm gonna tell you tonight, do not ever again say a downgrading thing about yourself out of your own mouth. You are created specially with the hand of God. He loves you. He has created you uniquely. You make mistakes like we all do. I make mistakes, you make mistakes, but there's a lot more right with you than there is wrong with you. Amen? You know, my father frequently would hit, slap, or occasionally even come home drunk on a Saturday night and beat my mother up. He was very fond of yelling, and screaming, and sticking his fist in your face like he was gonna hit you, and I hated that. I hated it. And even now, I don't do well if somebody is slapping at my face, because I still have a reaction to him doing that all the time.

And so, I really, just, like, even if somebody's teasing me, I don't want 'em around my face. And my dad was so mean, but you know what his real problem was? He was mad at himself. He knew that his behavior was wrong. He knew that he was doing a lot of things that was wrong. But instead of taking responsibility for them and getting the help that he needed, he blamed everybody else in the world. There was something wrong with everybody out there. And if you're dealing with somebody in your life that finds fault with everybody in the universe, then in all probability, there's a guilt problem going on on the inside of them about something that they're doing. And instead of facing it, they're displacing that anger onto somebody else. You know, this whole thing, we can see it get started in the book of Genesis when Cain killed Abel. And matter of fact, I want us to go look at it, it's in Genesis chapter 4.

Now, there was an issue here with the offerings that Cain and Abel gave to God. And Abel's offering was acceptable to God, but Cain's was not. Verse 5 says, "But for Cain and his offering, he had no respect or regard". God said, "'i had no respect for his offering'. So, Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant and he looked sad and depressed". Which we might also add that a lot of these bad moods that people have is also the result of anger of some kind. "And the Lord said to Cain, 'why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected'"? Now, I love this, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door. Its desire is for you," and I like this too. "You," I drew a circle around it, "Must master it". So, don't blame somebody else if you're not doing what's right, he's saying to him, then you can find forgiveness, things can be straightened out, but you have to face it. Just don't go around angry because your life is not turning out the way you want it to when you didn't do what you should've done to have gotten the right result.
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