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TITLE:  Skunks and Turtles
TEXT:  Ephesians 4:25-27
PROPOSITION:  We must understand how we react to situations.
KEY WORD:  Reactions


  1. I want to try to classify everyone in this auditorium this morning.
  2. You are a skunk, a turtle, or some combination of the 2.
  3. When there are personality clashes, personal conflicts – it is because –
    1. Opposites attract – skunks and turtles get along just fine
    2. Skunks and skunks – always clash
    3. Turtles and turtles – never get anything accomplished, no progress



  1. Act out – spray others
  2. Danger, fear, cornered – attack everything around
  3. Temper – quickly flares, then subsides
  4. Anger is short-lived – after the spray – skunk waddles away, happy and free
  5. Those he sprayed are angry, smelly, hurt – can’t get over being hit
  6. Skunks can wind up doing illegal things – vandalism, robbery, killing

Skunks need to learn:

  1. When and how to spray
  2. Find less harmful and destructive ways to act out
  3. Control their anger in non-sinful ways
  4. Learn what is socially acceptable – stay in the lines
  5. Limit the desire for radical changes



  1. Draw inside – pull back into a shell
  2. Danger, fear, cornered – hold it all in, peek out to see if danger has passed
  3. Anger builds and builds – every event adds to greater caution and suspicion
  4. Anger – builds slowly, lasts a long time
  5. No one else is hurt – the hurt is internal
  6. Turtles can wind up doing personal harm – self-esteem, suicide, depression

Turtles need to learn:

  1. Find a way to let out some of the internal pressure
  2. Learn to like yourself (self-esteem)
  3. Force yourself into groups, activities
  4. Learn to trust others
  5. Learn to be social – venture outside the lines – try new things


Pressure Cookers

  1. Put in green beans, little water, on stove
  2. Steam builds up pressure, weight on valve – psst, psst, psst – lets steam escape
  3. Watch Out when the hissing stops – pressure is building – green beans on ceiling
  4. ALL of us (skunks and turtles) need to learn how to reduce the pressure in harmless ways.

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