In the small country of Cameroon, there is a lake. This lake is known to be “the deadliest lake in the world.” This lake is an extinct volcano with the lake in the center of it. The lake is around 700ft deep.
There is a small village there on the mountainside. On August 22nd, 1986 there was a man who was riding a bike towards the small village, he saw a dead antelope laying beside the road. He stopped and picked it up and continued on his way. He began to see other dead animals, rats, dogs etc and began to wonder what exactly happened.
When this man arrived at a hut he stopped to see what had happened. The people in that hut were dead as well. He headed home as fast as he could.
As doctors and scientists descended on the area they found devastation everywhere they turned. Whatever it was that had killed everything seemed to have disappeared without a trace.
This lake had a legend of being a “bad lake” full of evil spirits. Scientists began to suspect that there was some connection to this lake and the deaths. The scientists started to do experiments and realized that there were large amounts of carbon dioxide in the lake. The deeper they went the more carbon dioxide there was.
Today we want to talk about one of the deadliest emotions in the world – anger.
Just because we don’t “blow up” doesn’t meant that we don’t have an anger problem. Just like the carbon dioxide at the bottom of the lake, we can keep the anger locked up inside of us until it just boils over.
A lot of times we feel like we have a right to hold on to anger when someone has hurt us.
We see anger throughout the Bible. Kings in the Old Testament. Human. Jonah. Esau. Peter. The list could go on. These are all people who got anger and as a result bad things happened.
We need to recognize anger for what it is. Sin. Blaming others for our choices is simply wrong. We might as well understand that life isn’t always fair, people are imperfect, the world is full of injustice and hurt and hard things. These are facts of life.
People handle their anger in numerous ways. Some explode. Some have “crock pot anger” where anger can simmer and grow.
In Mathew 5:21-26 Jesus talks about anger.
Most of the time in our lives our flesh/self feels like it has a right to be angry. Jesus tells us that this type of anger is a sin.
Colossians 3:21 – Paul tells fathers not to anger their children.
God is serious about this powerful emotion being under control and surrendered. When this emotion is surrendered it changes who we are and what happens in our heart.
James 1:19-20 – We can’t be angry and do the work that God calls us to do.
How does anger affect us?
Anger affects our relationships, both with God and with those around us.
An angry person tends to worry and be pessimistic, it leaves us feeling empty and unfulfilled. Anger tends to make us want to justify our own sin.
Psalm 7:11 – God also has anger… but his anger is always a just and perfect anger, a reaction to evil.
Mark 3:4-5 – Jesus was responding to those with hard hearts around him. He looked around on them with anger…
Hebrews 4:15 – Jesus was tempted just like we are, yet he didn’t sin. If Jesus was angry it was for the right reasons.
If anyone had a reason to be angry, Jesus did. Jesus endured all kinds of injustice. Especially during his last few days.
Ephesians 4:31 – There doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for anger.
This emotion of anger comes to all of us. It is a choice that we make to stay angry. We can choose to explode or we can choose to keep a bitterness deep in our hearts.
With God’s grace and power our lives can be used for his Glory.
John 4:13-14 – Jesus tells the woman at the well where she can find living water! Don’t be a dangerous lake with anger lurking deep inside, be filled with the living water that Jesus still offers us today.