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In 1979 Dr. Larry Reynolds moved to Denton, Texas, to become the founding pastor of Southmont Baptist Church. During his twenty-eight year ministry at Southmont, the church grew to a membership of more than 1800. The church, which began in a small storefront, now meets on a campus that includes three educational buildings, a fellowship hall, an activities center, and sanctuary. After retiring as the Senior Pastor of Southmont in December, 2006, Pastor Reynolds has remained active in the Denton area conducting weddings, funerals, and leading Bible studies. He and his wife, Carol, have traveled extensively. In addition to five trips to Israel, they have visited Jordan, Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Peru, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Abigail

People Who Shaped David:  Abigail
 (1 Samuel 25)

1.   There is an interesting story about a man who spent 3 ½ frustrating hours enduring the long lines, rude clerks, and seemingly senseless regulations at a Department of Public Safety driver’s license office trying to get his driver’s license renewed...it was his son’s birthday and he was in a hurry to buy his son a birthday gift and get home for a birthday party...with each passing minute he became more frustrated and angry...after finally finishing his business there, he rushed to a sporting goods store to buy his son a baseball bat for his birthday...he selected the bat, went to the cash register, and the young girl behind the register very politely asked, “Will that be cash or charge?”...the man, still frustrated from his experience at the driver’s license office growled, “Cash!”...the girl was taken back by his tone of voice...seeing her reaction and realizing he had been rude the man said, “I’m sorry.  I just spent 3 ½ frustrating hours at the driver’s license office.”...girl smiled and said, “I understand completely.”...and then looking at the bat she asked, “Would you like this bat  in a bag or are you going back there right now?”
2.   Live in angry world...all around us are people who are wound tight ready to explode...according to one person, the average man loses his temper six times a week...the average woman loses her temper 3 times a week...before you women get too big-headed about that, the same source pointed out that while men tend to get angry at things (such as a machine when it breaks down), women are more prone to get angry at people...[Dealing with Anger, Michael Cassara, SermonCentral]
3.   Truth is that not one of us is immune to anger...and because we are not, all of us need, from time to time, people to come into our lives to help us deal with anger constructively...in this session, as continue looking at people who helped shape life of David, going to meet someone who helped David avoid making a terrible mistake in anger... direct attention to 25th chapter of 1 Samuel...there you will find the story of David and Abigail...
4.   David was hot with anger...he had been rudely rebuffed by a man named Nabal whose name comes from a Hebrew word meaning foolish or senseless ...can you imagine a parent naming a child fool?...however, in this case the name was appropriate...Nabal was a very wealthy man...David and his band  of about 600 men provided protection for the people living in the area south of Hebron between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea...in return for this valuable service, those whom they protected were expected to help provide supplies for David and his men...David sent some young men to Nabal to collect the expected supplies...look at v.10-13 & v. 21 to see what happened (text)... in his anger, David decided to wipe out Nabal and all the males in his entire household...
5.   Nabal’s wife was Abigail...the Bible describes her as an “intelligent and beautiful in appearance...”...one person quipped that Abigail is in the Bible to remind women that just because your husband is a fool doesn’t mean you have to be one too!...Abigail got word of David’s plans and acted quickly to intervene...first, she sent gifts to David and his men...then she went out and met David personally asking him to reconsider his decision to kill Nabal and his household...David was moved by her plea and v.32 and following tells us David’s response to Abigail...
6.   From this encounter between David and Abigail, there is much for us to learn about managing the anger in our lives...want to share with you some practical things we can do to manage our anger...

I.    Be on guard -  Don’t let anger catch you by surprise
1.   Not everyone gets angry at the same thing...what may be a minor hiccup to one person can be like a red flag waving in the face of an angry bull to another person...you need to figure out what it is that most likely to make anger well up inside of you...what those instant anger buttons are for you...
2.   A careful look at 1 Samuel 25 gives us some clues as to the kinds of things that can cause us to be angry...
--A significant loss can cause anger – Think significant this chapter begins with account of death of Samuel...was tremendous personal loss to David...Samuel was his mentor...the one who anointed him to be king...the one who always believed in David...the one David could always count on...the death of Samuel was great blow to David...and whenever we experience a significant loss in our lives -- be it death of loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of a spouse through divorce, even the loss of money through a bad investment – one way we can respond is with anger...and the anger generated by a significant loss can stay with us for a long time, even for a life-time...
--A wounded ego can cause anger – By this time everyone is Israel knew who David was...he was a national hero...he had conquered Goliath...he had proved himself in other battles...the women were singing about David killing his ten thousands...Nabal’s response to David’s messengers was particularly galling to David...he asked with biting sarcasm in v.10, “Who is David?  And who is the son of Jesse?”...obviously he knew who David was, and he was saying he had no regard or respect for him...and of course that personal attack made David angry...and anytime someone does something or says something which we interpret as a slam to our self-image or our ego or makes us look bad in front of others, anger is a natural response...
--Unfair treatment can cause anger – David felt that Nabal was being blatantly unfair toward him...in v. 21 David says, “I guarded this man’s possessions, I kept them safe, he didn’t lose a single thing and now he won’t pay me for my work.  That’s unfair!”...and out of that sense of unfairness arose anger...and when someone treats us in a way we perceive to be unfair – whether it’s a discourteous driver who cuts in front of us in traffic or a rude clerk in a department store or a co-worker who gives us a hard time – we often respond with anger...
--Physical discomfort can cause anger – David and his men had been on the run for several months...they had been living off the land and had not permanent shelter...no doubt were tired and hungry and exhausted...did not have much reserve against anger...sometimes the anger we experience can have its root in a physical problem...anger may arise or at least be aggravated by some illness or from the lack of proper rest and nourishment...
3.   And what want you to see in that is that anger can have many different sources – a loss, a wounded ego, unfair treatment, a physical problem...and if we are aware of those things and if we keep our guard up when those conditions exist in our lives, we are less likely to be caught by surprise by anger...

II.  Be Wise – Learn to express your anger in healthy ways
1.      There are two extremes when it comes to expressing our anger...and as is true in most areas of life, neither extreme is healthy...one extreme is to under-express our anger and the other extreme is to over-express our anger...
2.      Some people over-express their anger...they are like walking time bombs...at the smallest provocation they lose control...they lash out, saying hurtful things and behaving in childish ways...they don’t take the time to think about the harmful consequences of their actions...
            --that’s what David did...when he was snubbed by Nabal he exploded in rage...he didn’t think about how his killing Nabal and all the males of his household would look to others...he just wanted to strike back, to get even...so, he acted on his first impulse...
            --for those of us who tend to over-express our anger, we need to remember that our first response is generally a wrong response... that’s why the Bible warns us over and over about speaking in anger... Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”...”always loses his temper” literally means “sends forth all his spirit”...that is, always express exactly what he/she is feeling...no doubt you’ve heard people brag, “I always say what I think!  I tell it like I see it or feel it.”...Bible says person who does that is a fool...dangerous always say what we think, because often what we think in anger is wrong...
            --one of the great antidotes for anger is delay...the longer you hold your temper...the longer you hold your tongue...the longer you delay acting in anger, the better your response is likely to be...Thomas Jefferson is given credit for the statement, “When you are angry, count to ten.  When you are very angry, count to 100.” [Ibid]...
      We need to avoid the extreme of over-expressing our anger...
3.      On other hand, some go to the other extreme...they under-express their anger...
            --instead of blowing up, they keep it all in...they never express their feelings...they deny being angry, even though they know they are... they conceal their feelings...and that is just as unhealthy as over-expressing our anger...
            --Dr. F. I. MacMillan in the book None of These Diseases lists 51 illnesses that can sometimes be attributed to bottled up anger...on his list are things such as high blood pressure, tension headaches, ulcers, digestive problems, backaches, etc...[Ibid]
4.   Is there a happy median between over-expressing and under-expressing anger?...I think there is...it is the course David ended up taking with the help of Abigail...he acknowledged the wrong done by Nabal...he didn’t pretend the event didn’t happen...however, as a result of Abigail’s wise intervention, he did not over-react and do something for which he would be sorry later...
5.   From that can learn that we need to be wise in how we express our anger...third thing can do to control anger...share by way of conclusion...

III.  Be faithful – Maintain a healthy relationship with God       
1.      Most helpful thing we can do to control our anger is to subject it, along with everything else about us, to God...David was sensitive enough to God’s leadership in his life that he was able to recognize God’s leading in the intervention of Abigail...notice what David says in v.32 – “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me...”
2.      When we maintain healthy relationship with God, more likely to handle anger in constructive way...as we spend time with God...as we allow God to remake us in His image, Scripture says He begins to produce in us the character qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control...and a life permeated by such things as those as little room left for anger...
3.      Squeeze bottle illustration...mustard, mayonnaise, hot sauce...what put in will come out...same principle works in our lives...when squeezed by pressure of life, when anger begins build up, what we’ve put into our lives tends to come out...spending time with God certainly enhance the likelihood that positive rather than negative things will come out of us at times such as that...
Conclusion

1.   How can we deal constructively with anger...be on guard...be wise...be faithful...