Charles Spurgeon told his students:
“I heard one say the other day that a certain preacher had no more gifts for the ministry than an oyster, and in my own judgment this was a slander on the oyster, for that worthy creature shows great discretion in his openings and knows when to close.
“If some men were sentenced to hear their own sermons it would be a righteous judgment upon them, and they would soon cry out with Cain, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear.’ “
Theme: Loosing Control of your Temper
Illustration: The Axe
Parts – Handle and Head (tempered) a proper degree of hardness (explained later)
Safety Precautions – Must be in control always, from storage to use
Applications from the Text:
More Common than you think, to lose it [Deu.19:4-5]
We all loose it from time to time!
[Verse 4] they all cut down wood, we are all exposed to it.
“Keep your temper, no one else wants it!”
Temper is a valuable Possession, don’t lose it!
The axe head’s temper is very valuable, without it the axe is dangerous/worthless
[Ecclesiastes 10:10] If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.
Your temper is really your state of mind or moderation.
[1Cor.9:24-27] Paul speaks of being temperate, or a temperament of moderation!
[Phil.4:5] Paul says, “let your moderation be known to all men”
Dad “Albert” Calms Self
A man was walking through a supermarket with a screaming baby in the shopping cart. A woman nearby noticed that time and again the man would calmly say: “Keep calm, Albert. Keep calm, Albert.”
Finally, in admiration for the man’s patience as the child continued to wail, the woman walked up to him and said: “Sir, I must commend you for your patience with baby Albert.”
To which the man replied, drawing himself up: “Madam, I am Albert!”
We all avoid folks that fly off the handle, and some avoid us!
“When a man’s temper gets the best of him, it brings out the worst in him.”
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Lions Are Never Tamed
Any lion trainer will tell you that there is no such thing as a tame lion. The animal may be on his good behavior today and be a whirlwind of ferocity tomorrow. He may eat off your hand or permit you to put your head in his mouth, but tomorrow he may tear you limb from limb if a sudden fury arises within his wild heart.
“Every time you lose your temper you advertise yourself!”
When you fly off the handle you are out of balance and full of excess!
[Verse 7] Elisha never touched it!
[Verse 6] He knew exactly where he lost it
Unlike most things that you lose, you know exactly where you lost it!
It would be unusual to lose the axe head during the day and only realize it is gone at the end of the day.
Has God ever put his finger exactly on the spot you lost it?
[Verse 5] Caused him to be indebted
He had borrowed the axe, now he was indebted to the owner
When we fly off the handle, we owe at least an apology at that point
“Your temper gets you in trouble, and your pride keeps you there”
Swallowing angry words before you say them is better than having to eat them afterwards.
Maybe it’s impossible at this point to go back and apologize, how about you just start today doing the right thing?
Goal – Stay connected to the Handle [1Jn.1:1]
Make sure there is no stored-up bitterness
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Handle the word of Life – For the Christian, get in the Book!
For the Lost, Get Saved!
Remember, when you do fly off the handle, God can make it swim! He is always there to help us!
Peanuts’ Deck Chair and Life
In a “Peanuts” comic strip, there was a conversation between Lucy and Charlie Brown.
Lucy said that life is like a deck chair. Some place it so they can see where they are going; some place it so they can see where they have been; and some place it so they can see where they are at present.
Charlie Brown’s reply: “I can’t even get mine unfolded.”
Maybe you can see where things have gone wrong in the past.
Maybe now you can keep a watch on the future, starting today.
Maybe God is trying to show you something you need to deal with today!
Maybe you don’t know where or how to start?