Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prison Break - Last of the 3-part series

~ Lola

Today was the last sermon on the 3 part series Prison Break. I believe that those of us who have attended the past 3 sermons have been greatly blessed by the simple yet powerful message. For those of you who missed it, you can download from our church website...but hey...it's never the same as BEING in service :)

Anyway, today P Wil spoke on breaking free from the prison of anger and rage.
Are Christians allowed to be angry? That was a question asked as we turned to Eph 4:30-31
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. " ....which seemed to suggest that we are NOT to be angry.

Then, looking to Eph 4:26-27
"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."...
it seemed to show a clearer picture of what the Word of God says about anger.

Indeed, anger is a God-given emotion and IS permissible for us as Christians, as long as we do not sin against God and man...as long as we do not allow our anger to become rage.

P Wil defined the difference between ANGER & RAGE. Rage is like a 2nd stage of anger....when it is uncontrollable & violent....where the devil gets a foothold in our lives. Anger & rage is an outward manifestation of many other deeper issues within our lives.

He went on to share that 2 reasons why there is anger/rage in many peoples' lives today.

1) Bitterness and unforgiveness in our lives that has been locked in our hearts, and which get triggered when fresh events happen.

2) Stressful environment which sometimes makes some of us like a 'walking time bomb'!

What are some ways we can help to break free from anger and rage?

1) Identify the root issues of bitterness and unforgiveness and release forgiveness.
2) Examine our personal goals and ambitions and ask ourselves, ARE THESE WHAT GOD WANTS OF ME? Stop striving and ask What has God designed for us? Take a long sabbatical and seek God's will for our lives.

I pondered for awhile as he shared the above. I am generally not an easily angered person, and less so, do not easily flare up into a rage. However I do notice that in recent months, I have become more easily irritated by little things.

Just a few nights ago, I stopped over at my uncle's home for a quick dinner. He had friends over , and at the same time, had his hifi set on with some nice jazz music. However, as he really is into audio systems, and loves music, it was, as usual, pretty loud (to me at least). As I chatted with him, I felt myself having to stretch my voice and my ears to carry out the conversation.

Then, a few minutes later, I answerd a phone call. By the time I put down the phone, I realised that tension had started to mount in me emotionally, and i was starting to feel moody. It started to affect my mood somehow and I started feeling temperamental. So, i decided to take my leave early and get out of the 'noisy' environment. However, it seemed as if i was the only one bein bothered....the rest of them in the house seemed totally comfortable with the level of noise!!

Well, this was just one example of my recent incidences of easy irritations....As P Wil was sharing, I was asking myself if it was due to the too many things that I feel like i have to do in the recent months...eg. settle house rental, find bridal studio, work etc, amongst other things...could it be stress? but then again, I don't really feel stressed leh...my mum thinks that it is stress and that it manifests itself through my eye bags, gastritis, growing level of impatience....

Oh well, as P Wil shared, the stress levels that each of us face at work and during the day often are a reason for the unexplainable anger that we vent out when we reach home. And sometimes its because we are loading tooo much on ourselves....more than we can take.

Let's be encouraged, then, because we have a God who can carry our load as we cast our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). Let's learn to take life easy...stop striving, learn not to worry about tomorrow as tomorrow will take care of itself (matthew 6), and to....count our blessings one by one.

At the end of the day, when we breathe our last breath, what are the things that matter? Our career? Our millions of dollars? Our assets? Our ministry? All these we will never bring to Heaven.....We could die a millionaire, but when we appear before the Lord, our hands will be empty....so it means...ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I guess, when I finally see the Lord face to face, what would really matter most at that time would be.....my relationship with God, my relationships with my family members and those God placed in my life, the lives that I have/have not impacted for God.....

oh well..at the end of the day, how we want to live our lives is really up to us isn't it? How stressful I want my life to be is within my control. How impactful i want to be to the lives around me is also within my control.....after all, God gave us the ability to make choices....

Okay i'm wondering how to end this post....can't quite come up with any ending...
so there it is....just some of my thoughts :)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

candid mammee

stress creeps up on us slowly..many times, in our mind it seems many things we wanna do are possible and we can handle many tasks which seem small. but they do accumulate and soon we realize that we are stretching ourselves longer like a rubberband,tension is high...we are ready to break anytime just with any little bit of irritation.

recently i shared in cell that i'm not going to measure my achievements by the numbers. but rather by the level of happiness.

Sandie said...

~Sand
Last sat, i attended Anger management seminar, i really encourage everyone to attend.

As share over the weekend service and in anger mgmt, there are cases that over the years, your anger may manifest, and you might not actually know what is the cause, we need to find the root cause of problem which causing someone to get Angry or agitated when something happen.

During the altar call over the weekend service, P. B was calling for those who need to forgive their parents for causing their past hurt... at the time, i just feel that i need to forgive my parents for their separation, which deeply hurt us. God was great to show me my struggles and my past hurts which was caused by them, which at the beginning i thought that it was just a small matter, dun need to worry about.