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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Why Do I Get So Angry?

Steven Furtick - Why Do I Get So Angry?

Steven Furtick - Why Do I Get So Angry?
TOPICS: Anger, Anxiety, Self-Control

This is an excerpt from: Why I Went Off?

Things will happen in your life, and you'll come up on situations that will expose something that you would prefer to hide, and what you do next determines whether you get healed. "Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said". Verse 5 says that the king said, "'By all means, go. I will send a letter to the king of Israel.' So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold…" That's like 75 pounds of each. Naaman is going to Israel with his resources to attain healing. He's going to deal with this like he always deals with things, because he's a great man. He's a persistent man. He's a prepared man. He's a powerful man. He's other things that start with the letter P as well. "The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: 'With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.'"

There are all kinds of stuff wrong with that sentence. It's like the telephone game we used to play, when you pass a message along to somebody, and it starts out, "We're having chicken for lunch," and it ends with, "I'm dying of cancer". You pass it down, and it only takes three people. This chain of communication has polluted the message itself. First, the servant girl didn't say the king could heal him. She said the prophet could. Sometimes we run to the wrong people because we have our own ideas about where our help comes from. It's not the king who is going to have the faith to get him healed; it's the prophet. His name is Elisha. But the king sends the commander to the king because this is, to him, the most logical way to get him healed. "We'll go straight to the top".

Watch the king's response. This is kind of interesting. When the king gets the letter and Naaman shows up with all of the accumulated wealth he believes it's going to take to get him healed… You know how we have our own ideas about what it's going to take to make a change in our lives. "I'm going to do it. I'm going to go back and I'm going to get my degree. I'm going to eat so much kale it's going to be coming out of my nose. I'm not eating gluten again until 2024. I'm going to do hot yoga and cold yoga and power lifting. I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it all. I'm going to read my Bible. I'm going to delete every social media off my phone. I'm never going on Facebook again. I'm going to get my face in the Book". He shows up with all this stuff that he thinks he's going to need to get healed, but (verse 7), "As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, 'Am I God?'" "You want me to do what"?

I have this friend. He was my college roommate. He used to make prank phone calls in college, and they were hilarious. Most of them were clean. We were Christians. But he had the ability to push people to their breaking point. He was a big fan of a guy at the time who did prank calls named Roy D. Mercer. This guy was famous for taking people right to the edge. So we would laugh. We still have these phone calls recorded, and one day I'm going to release them on SoundCloud. These phone calls just bring me joy at times in my life, because everybody's reaction was the same. He'd make up a million scenarios. He would use this alias, "Duwaine McGraw," and he'd put a thing over the E, because it's French. "My name is Duwaine McGraw". He'd say, "My boy Bobby is throwing up all over the shag carpet, because I came to your grocery store and I bought bad milk".

They would always say this, no matter what scenario he made up. One time it would be, "Bobby is throwing up on the shag carpet". One time it would be, "I took my trousers to your laundromat and they shrunk up, and now they're coming up around my thighs and I look like a European". Whatever scenario he would bring up, their response was generally the same. "What do you want me to do about it"? The king is like, "You brought me a leper? Do you think I'm God? I'm not a doctor; I'm a king". Have you ever felt like life brought you something that was above your pay grade to handle? "God, they're doing that thing again where they sit there and look at me like they always have it together and they have all of the answers". I looked at my kids the other day and said, "I am not Google. I am not a search engine. I do not know. Furthermore, I do not care. Get out of my face".

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and replay things I've said to my kids and feel so bad I have to get up and baptize myself in the bathtub and get saved again. "Just as I am, without one plea, O Lamb of God! What do you want from me? I'm only a man"! The king says, "I know what this is". "Can I kill and bring back to life"? He's triggered because he is confronted with a situation he is unable to transform. Whenever life presents you with something you were not equipped for… You have to be a dad, and you didn't have a dad. You have to pay a bill, but God didn't give you a job. You have to step into something you've never seen before with the faith to believe it's already done. It can be exasperating to the point that you allow your past experience to contaminate your perspective of the present moment.

Remember what I said. The king of Aram, Ben-Hadad II, would often go and invade Jehoram's land. Jehoram was the king of Israel. So when he gets the letter saying, "Hey, can you help my guy Naaman? Can you heal my guy Naaman"? it triggered within him a traumatic memory of the last time he was attacked. He goes off not because of the situation he's experiencing but because of past experiences. Do you ever wonder why you go off and it's inexplicable? Like, the level of the offense does not match the level of the outrage, and you wonder why. "What was that all about"? Have you ever with the Elevation Church sticker on your car said some words that weren't, "Bless the Lord, O my soul," and wondered…? You know how y'all think Holly is so sweet?

One time in college she was singing a worship song in her Ford Contour, and the song said… I was there. I was in the passenger seat. The song said, "You are so patient with me, Lord". She didn't get to "Lord" before she was screaming at the Dodge Ram that pulled out in front of her, and she's loud. Holly is loud. When she's up here at Reflect she'll be smiling, but I'm going to tell you something about Holly Furtick. "What was that all about? Where did that voice come from"? Then the Devil starts telling you, "Oh, you're not a real Christian. You're a hypocrite". Some of y'all are going to lose it before the day is over because of your Fantasy Football lineup. No, not because of anything significant to anything having to do with real life in any way. Because of other men who have absolutely no effect on you other than $100 at the end of the season, and you will wonder, "Why did I go off like that"?

It's understandable, because we live in not only the age of anxiety, but have you noticed we live in the age of outrage too, how trendy it is now to just get mad about anything you don't like the first time you hear it? Well, y'all aren't going to like this part of the sermon too much, I don't think. Can I be honest with you? I don't really care what shoes you wore to church today. Maybe my perspective is different, but I spend too much time seeing people's buts to care about what you have on your feet today. I don't have time when teen suicide is at an all-time high to check and see if you're wearing Adidas or Nike, if you have Yeezys or you want to Just Do It. I don't really have time to debate with you about a swoosh or a commercial or get mad about… I really don't have time for it up here when people's lives are on the line.

I really don't have time for it in here when people are on antidepressants at a rate that's making them more depressed, but they don't know where else to turn, and we're running to all kinds of places that are leaving us empty. But we want to fight. There will be at least one comment on this YouTube video about the holes in my jeans. Are you for real right now? It triggers something. You're not fighting me over shoes. You're not fighting me over jeans. One mama told me, "Until you shave your beard, I can't watch you anymore". This is psychotic. She said, "I'm praying for you". I wanted to say, "I'm praying for you. I'm going to fast 40 days, if you're that messed up".

I don't know why I went off. I think for me… This is just what I'm working through, so if this makes you think I'm crazy, you're right. I'm going through this season of my life where I don't want to keep blaming my environment or consulting things that happened in my life, because the cross of Jesus Christ gives me a new reality. It changes everything in the sense that all of my life has to be viewed through that lens of what he did for me and who he says I am. If I'm not careful, I'll be like the king who, when confronted with an impossible situation that reminded him of a past hurt, inflicted the opportunity of his present moment with the pain of his past. Every time he dealt with Aram it was an attack, and now it's an opportunity for this man to be healed and see what God can do, but if what you went through isn't healed by what Christ did for you, you will treat the opportunity like an attack.

I've noticed I spend a lot of my time fighting stuff that God is actually sending into my life. I spend a lot of my time fighting against people I'm not really mad at. It's really not them. Tell the person next to you, "It's not you; it's me". I'm a perfectionist, so sometimes when things aren't just like I want them to be… Here's what really happens. It really happens with my expectation. When I expect it to be one way and it's the other… When I went off on my dad a few years ago, it was because I rented him a house, I moved him and my mom to Charlotte… Well, I didn't move them. I hired movers, and then they got fired because my dad was crazy. It was so funny. It really wasn't funny. It's funny now. Can we laugh about it? The day I went to see him…

The story has a happy ending and we ended up being together and it was good and all that, but in between… Remember, Naaman gets healed at the end of this story, but there's some stuff in the middle I want to talk to you about. In the middle of that whole messy situation with my dad, I remember going over to check on him one day, and I was so proud of the house Holly had found that we rented for them. My mom liked it, and she was happy, and my dad… The first thing he said when I walked through the door was, "This ain't going to work, bo'". I know, "Honor your father and mother in the Lord".

I know that Bible verse. I promise you I know it. I even know that honor is kabad in Hebrew and it can also be translated glory and weight. But the only thing I wanted in that moment… I'm going to just be honest with you. I don't like to be disrespected, and it felt disrespectful to me, so I went off. It really wasn't what he said, because really what he wanted were just a few small tweaks, but I couldn't hear that anymore. My expectation was that he was going to meet me at the door and give me a big ol' hug and say, "My son in whom I am well pleased," and a dove would descend, but he didn't read my script. What do you do when people don't read your script, meet your expectation?

Here's where the story gets good. I want you to notice that the same event that triggered the king and made him go into fear mode, which is usually what's happening when we're lashing out or withdrawing… Not everybody fights outwardly. Some of us bottle it up inwardly, and we never go off. One day we just tap out, and you wonder, "How did they drop like that"? Well, it's usually a series of unmet expectations. In this case, the king of Israel, Jehoash, is traumatized to the point that he thinks everything is a fight. It says it in the text. "See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me"! That's verse 7. "See how they're looking at me? They didn't even wave at me".

This is a Southern thing. You're supposed to wave at people when you drive by them. In the town I grew up in, you waved at everybody. The first time we were driving through the neighborhood and Holly didn't wave at people, I corrected her. I was like, "What is wrong with you"? She's not from Moncks Corner. She's from Miami, and it's a different culture. It's an inferior culture of rudeness. Anytime that you've been used to fighting in your life… If life has really been a fight for you, if you've had to fight for your mental health or your emotional health or fight through issues of bitterness and forgiveness because of abuse, if you've had to fight for your own and fight to make it or if you had to fight your own family… When you've had to fight over and over again, everything looks like a fight.

Everything looks like a threat. Everything sounds like an insult. Every time somebody doesn't check on you, it feels like abandonment. It's the trauma that's being triggered. What's encouraging to me and what I got up here to tell you about today (because this is pretty depressing so far)… The same stimulus that triggered fear in the king's heart triggered faith in Elisha's. The Bible says in verse 8, "When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message…" The king said, "Who do you think I am? You think I'm a healer"? Elisha said, "I know God is a healer". Watch this. "Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel".

This man said, "Where you see opposition, I see opportunity". The same thing that triggered the king to tear his robes and freak out and fall down in fear triggered Elisha to rise up in faith. Elisha said, "Send him to me, because the Word of God is with me". Elisha has an experience to build this expectation on. Elisha has healed the waters at Jericho. Elisha has multiplied the widow's oil. Elisha has spoken to barren wombs and, when that child died, spoke life and it resurrected from the dead. Elisha has dug ditches in dry valleys and seen God bring water from the direction of Edom. Elisha has seen God do things that only God can do.

So when an impossible situation that is beyond him shows up, Elisha knows what to do. "Bring him here to me. I've got something for Naaman. I heal lepers for breakfast. Bring him to me, and he will know not how great I am but how great God is". Watch verse 9. I love this story. "So Naaman went with his horses and chariots [and his expectations and his leprosy and his greatness and his but]…" He brought it all because he wanted to be healed. I know you want to be healed of something today, even though you've been covering it up. I know you use your charisma to cover your cracks, and I know nobody knows how dark the thoughts can really get for you sometimes, but I've been doing this too long to sit there and preach to your armor.
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